On this episode of 1 Minute Rant, I try to tackle the very tricky issue of representation in video games, with a particular focus on trans representation. Watch it above, and you can find all our other videos on our YouTube Channel.

It was such a tricky issue that I smashed through the self-imposed 60 second limit I’d given myself for these videos. There was so much I wanted to say. I could have easily said more. So I’m going to say some more here.

First of all, let me make myself crystal clear. I am 100% for seeing trans characters in games. My personal view is that it will be just another color to add to gaming’s already diverse palate.

But the problem boils down to this – having a fair representation of the humans that exist in the world should be the norm, and developers need to adopt this mentality rather than integrating characters of different subgroups purely for the sake of appeasement. We need game studios to take a look at what the world is really like, and not bow down to the pressure that emanates from social groups whose focus is less on equality and more on their own personal agendas.

Prime example – Mass Effect Andromeda. You can tell a mile off that the interaction with Hainly Abrams was just so that BioWare could say they had included a trans character in their game.

More effort needs to be put towards to making video games reflect reality. What’s to lose? If you do it well, you won’t offend the majority of gamers who are just playing to have fun, and you broaden your target audience, which in turn leads to more sales.

Racial, gender, and trans representation are all pertinent issues that need unfortunately still need addressing.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below, or on our YouTube Channel.

  • Aaron blanchard

    Take a look at the real world? The real world isn’t packed with transgender people and why should this issue be resolved in our video games?? Video games are not meant to be like the real world, that’s why people play them. Stop trying to be SJWs for a minority that no one talked about until Chris Jenner decided to wear a dress. Call Carnival Cruise ships and see how many transgender are part of their crew?? Hey, call NASA and see how many transgender people have been up in space. How many transgender people are working to be an astronaut?? None. So what real world are you living in? You create issues which are pushing all of us apart, not helping out transgender folks. Transgender people could care less if their represented in video games because they have other issues that are probably more important. Please stop saying this issues exist because they don’t and take your own advice and look at the real world, where transgender people make up less then 2% of the worlds population and only 1% of them get surgery to become the gender they indentify with. And it’s not even transgender people that ask for proper representation in games it’s all the SJWs of the world who cry foul in every aspect of their lives because this minority group is not included in everything. Game producers like Rockstar will always be most popular because they don’t roll over when someone cries that they don’t think the game is representing a group of people suffering from a mental disorder. What about Albino folks?? What about handicap folks?? Why are they not represented in our games?? Let developers do what they want and leave our video games aloneness with you politically correct garbage.

    • Ben Hutchings – Associate Editor

      Unfortunately I think the point I was trying to make was blurred a little bit by some of my phrasing. I actually agree with your general gist (maybe not with some of your harsher sentiments). I was trying to balance on the thin line between upsetting people on either side of the argument, but on the internet, you just end up upsetting everyone with articles like this.

      Basically, game devs can do what they want. If they want to put a trans character in, whatever, I don’t really care, but do it for a reason OTHER than bowing down to pressure from the people crying about the lack of representation. Make the character interesting, rather than hollow, and have a relevancy to the story rather than just being shoehorned in, like that MEA character was. When I say “games need to reflect reality” I meant it in its most obvious form. Yes, trans people make up less than 1% of the population of the world, so game devs shouldn’t all be rushing to include them just because it’s a hot topic at the moment. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I think it’s cool to interact with characters from backgrounds that never really appear in games, like trans people. Interacting with the trans character Janeva in HZD was interesting for me, and because it was done (relatively) well, it was a plus point, rather than making me groan in frustration.

      I hope I’ve clarified some of my points 🙂