“Mass Effect” developer Manveer Heir said that game makers need to fight stereotypes and social injustice in games.
Heir, speaking at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to a crowd of industry professionals said minority groups need better representation in games, according to Polygon.
He said there’s “misogyny, sexism, racism, ethnocentrism, nationalism, ageism, ableism,” and other negative elements in games that need to be corrected.
“Wherever we may stand today as an industry,” said Heir, a BioWare Montreal developer. “I am confident that we will stand somewhere far better tomorrow as long as you, right here, are willing to be an agent of change. I sincerely hope that you are ready for that challenge, because I sure as hell am!”
“These negative stereotypes effect the identity of individuals in these groups. They affect the way people think and treat others in the real world, and [they] perpetuate the social injustices that occur in these different groups.”
Heir said claims of games with female protagonists doing poorly in terms of sales is an incorrect notion.
“When a game starring a woman comes out,” Heir said. “The marketing and the development spends are simply less, which can overall impact the quality of the game and [its] success, which skews the numbers in the negative.”
He added: “We should use the ability of our medium to show players the issues firsthand, or give them a unique understanding of the issues and complexities by crafting game mechanics along with narrative components that result in dynamics of play that create meaning for the player in ways that other media isn’t capable of.”
Regarding the latest “Mass Effect” game–unofficially titled “Mass Effect 4”–there has been few updates from BioWare.
Producer Yanick Roy apologized weeks ago for a lack of information about the game.
“I apologize for not having any new info on the next Mass Effect for you. It’s because our focus is on doing it right over doing it fast!” he wrote on Twitter earlier this month.