Activision Blizzard studio King has shared a bizarre “diversity space tool” meant to help its studios design more diverse characters by using… math. In a blog post published on May 12, the studio lauds the tool as “a leap forward for inclusion in gaming” that was created alongside the MIT Game Lab for use in character development. The post uses characters from the Overwatch universe as examples, plotting them on the graph based on elements like gender, body type, physical ability, cognitive ability, sexuality, and more. The tool is apparently meant to be used as a frame of reference for future character development. “Once it establishes a baseline for typical character traits … it can then weigh new character designs against it to measure their diversity,” the blog reads. “During this process, the tool can also uncover unconscious bias, such as why certain traits are seen as ‘male’ vs. ‘female,’ or why characters from certain ethnic backgrounds are given similar personalities or behaviors.” While this is a noble idea on paper, the execution has raised more than a few questions. And given Activision Blizzard’s current controversies – including a sexual harassment lawsuit overseen by the California Department of Fair Employment… Read full this story
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