Polygon and Video Game Diversity

So during E3 Ubisoft made a bit of faux pas in saying that they were unable to have female assassins in the co-op mode of Assassin’s Creed Unity because “it was really a lot of extra production work”. They were almost immediately called out on it by others in the industry and the masses. This was perhaps compounded by the devs from Far Cry 4 stating they were oh so close to having a female character but then…reasons.

Polygon did a slew of articles on the issue(s) with Ubisoft and lack of diversity in general evidenced at E3. But what was interesting was every now and again in the comments section someone would point out how similar the gaming landscape and Polygon’s staff page looked. Shocker: mostly male, mostly white, and the few females don’t look older than twenty-five. Other gaming sites are just as bad, if not worse, and they lack any of the semi-valid excuses video game/tech companies have. After all, you can’t really (convincingly) argue that there is a lack of women with writing/journalist/English degrees. And with the economy in the gutter it probably isn’t that hard to find one who is willing to write about her favorite pastime. Or one who is at least thirty. I mean, according to their own reporting the average gamer is thirty-one.

This site and it’s sister publication, The Verge, are very good at pointing out the faults in the companies they cover and their hiring practices: how very non-diverse these places are. There never seems to be any real useful commentary on how to fix the problem, and yet they sit there with their own heavily white, male, staff. People in glass houses and all that jazz.

But the age thing bothers me as well. Seeing thirtysomething, balding, overweight men talk about games has become rather normal, but a woman who’s brain has finished developing not so much. It would be nice to see an organization acknowledge their own problems and what they are doing to fix them in addition to calling out others.


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1 Comment

  1. Just stumbled across this after calling Polygon out on this in their comments section (I was then promptly sent a stern warning and had my comment deleted).

    Polygon’s switch to a focus on social issues in gaming is purely a result of their staff being the focus in the early days of the GG controversy. They were instrumental in switching the focus from ethics in gaming journalism to gender diversity and discrimination. It worked brilliantly but I honestly believe that they couldn’t care less about what they preach. They may have convinced even themselves that but to sum up what you’re saying here- actions speak louder than words. Their staff is the epitome of straight white male privilege.

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