Scientists highlight racial landscape in gaming world

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Washington, July 30 (ANI): A comprehensive study of gaming characters has revealed that video games do not accurately represent minorities.

The study encompassing the top 150 games in a year across nine platforms and all rating levels, and weighted by each title's popularity, shows that the video game industry showed that less than 3pct of game characters were "recognizably Hispanic."

Latinos were nearly invisible and women and other groups were underrepresented. Native Americans, children and the elderly also were underrepresented.

Only 10 percent of playable characters surveyed were female, though women now make up 40 percent of video game players.

African-Americans appeared in proportion to their numbers in the real world, but mainly in sports games and in titles that reinforce stereotypes, such as 50 Cent Bulletproof.

On the other hand, males, whites and adults were overrepresented.

"Latino children play more video games than white children. And they're really not able to play themselves," said study leader Dmitri Williams, a social psychologist and assistant professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

"For identity formation, that's a problem. And for generating interest in technology, it may place underrepresented groups behind the curve.

"Ironically, they may even be less likely to become game makers themselves, helping to perpetuate the cycle," Williams added.

But Williams cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

"The characters the developers put in the games do not match the real world. Our thoughts about why are all informed guesses," Williams added. (ANI)

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