Surprise! According to a new study out from the International Game Developers Association, it turns out that the vast majority of video game designers are white males.
The study, "Game Developer Demographics: An Exploration of Workforce Diversity," shows that in fact, there's no such thing in the video game industry. According to the study, 88.5 percent of designers are male, while 83.3 percent are white. The average age is 31.
It seems like this should come as no surprise, and maybe the biggest surprise was that the IGDA bothered to put resources into discovering what just about anyone could have told them in the first place.
According to the IGDA, more than 6,500 video game industry folks participated in the survey, which asked about respondents' gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, disabilities, education and nationality. And the organization was kind enough to provide a compendium of some participants' comments.
They went as follows:
"I am very concerned with how this survey's data is to be used," wrote a 32-year-old male with disabilities from the United States. "The phrasing of the questions I found to be disturbing, who cares about sexual preference, we're focused on games not the interpersonal details of the workforce which is none of my business..."
And this was the very first comment. Nice of the IGDA to provide us with the real deal rather than a scrubbed version.
The general attitude of the first couple pages of comments seemed to be: Hey, let's not worry about diversity, let's make sure we have the best developers.
For example: "It's a noble idea, but I wouldn't sacrifice hiring qualified people just for the sake of diversity," wrote a 39-year-old man from Canada.
Another male penned, "I think this survey is quite ridiculous. We are here in the industry to work and to produce quality games, not to be politically correct and ensure that all facets of lifestyles and society are represented. I don't care who or what my colleagues are as long as they get the job done."
So, could it be that the real reason behind showing the unvarnished truth is that the IGDA wants to show that its members aren't really for diversity at all?
Not likely, but it's hard to escape the temptation to think that after reading entries like these.