Gears of War Boss Explains Why Diversity and Inclusivity Are Important in Game Design

Most video games star straight white male protagonists, and this is largely a marketing decision. However, this is increasingly changing. For example, last year one of the most "bro-shooter" series ever released a new installment with a female protagonist. I'm talking about Gears 5, which wasn't a great game, but that's not the point. The point is the series is trying something different, and this likely has to do with the perspective the studio and its creative leads hold.

During a recent panel, Gears of War boss Rod Fergusson noted that unless you make an effort to include, you are going to wind up accidentally excluding. According to Fergusson, it's important for game design to be inclusive, and this starts with diversity in the workplace.

"We had to find a way to welcome new players and create an on-board for them. The way we really focused on doing that was through inclusive design," said Fergusson.

The creative lead continued, noting that it's important not to live in your own tower when designing games:

"If you live within your own tower, and your own insular base--I'm a straight white old male--my social circles and my demographics and all the people I reach could potentially be limited, or if not limited, biased in some ways. If I don't consciously make the decision to break out of that idea and go and talk to other people and hire people who are diverse to bring new opinions and new ideas and grow--if you don't do that intentionally, then you are going to accidentally leave people out."

Gears 5 is available for the Xbox One and PC.

"Gears 5 is incredible from start to finish, and, playing on PC, it is easily one of the best ports to the platform," reads our official review of the game. "Despite the few hiccups with servers, I was able to play entirely on Ultra settings without issue, and that's on hardware that isn't exactly the latest and greatest. The visuals are beautiful, gameplay is fun and gory, the campaign is heartfelt with incredible performances from the cast, and it is just a wonderful experience from start to finish and beyond. This is a title fans of the series will not want to miss, and it is a shining example of how The Coalition has put their mark on the franchise."


H/T, GameSpot.