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Why Games Celebrating Cultural Diversity Matter More Than Ever Now

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Gaming has always been a popular pastime, but with the advancement of technology, it’s now one of the most enjoyed activities on the planet. This means that game creators and developers have a platform they can use to promote change, and one way they’re doing this is by creating games that celebrate cultural diversity.

These games allow players to see the world and its people through new eyes. They promote diversity and enable people to understand different cultures and heritages better. The representation of unique cultures can also help create more inclusive gaming communities.

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of inclusive games that celebrate cultural diversity for players around the world.

The Importance of Culturally Diverse Games

Cultural diversity is becoming increasingly important across dozens of industries, from corporate and marketing to gaming. However, this trend in gaming is about much more than displaying diversity on screens. It offers players entertaining opportunities to learn about a broad range of traditions, perspectives, and cultures in an almost subconscious way.

Games incorporating diverse settings, characters, and perspectives into their plots can benefit players in myriad ways. They can help create feelings of understanding and empathy toward different cultures. At the same time, they encourage players to foster respect for the world’s vast range of cultures.

Another key benefit of culturally diverse games is their ability to challenge cultural stereotypes. Players exposed to new cultures through games may soon begin to re-evaluate past biases. This can lead to a growing interest in representation and social justice.

Games that feature marginalized cultures and stories can raise awareness of important issues like systemic oppression and discrimination. Players who gain insight into these cultures are better equipped to speak out on important issues and drive meaningful social change.

These benefits aren’t limited to the experiences of single players. Popular games can reach a wider audience and expose them to new representation. This can foster more inclusive, close-knit communities where all types of people can connect and collaborate without prejudice or bias.

Benefits of Inclusive Games for Mental Health

Diversity, inclusion, and mental health are closely linked. People from diverse backgrounds often lack representation in the workplace and the media they enjoy. They may also deal with unconscious bias, which can impact their mental health and create feelings of isolation.

Mental health has wide-reaching effects, impacting individuals, businesses, and caregivers alike. Additionally, it’s not as visible as other aspects of diversity, meaning that it may often be overlooked or misunderstood. Inclusive games may bring new sources of representation to different cultural groups and promote more inclusion.

Studies from Oxford University already suggest that video games could benefit mental health. Researchers focused on games like Nintendo’s Animal Crossing and EA’s Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. They assessed playtime data and psychological surveys and found that players who played more games reported greater well-being. Culturally diverse games could amplify these positive effects even further.

Inclusive characters in games can help empower people with disabilities and members of minority groups. They can offer a safe and accessible social platform, allowing players to build friendships and communicate about their cultures and experiences. This can help them avoid isolation, which is often linked with anxiety and depression.

Players can also enjoy collaborative matches and missions and connect in virtual chat rooms to foster a sense of inclusion and community. In this context, inclusive games may improve mental health, enhance self-esteem, and reduce loneliness.

Potential Impacts of Inclusive Games

Inclusive games can offer many positive benefits to players and society. Games with diverse cultural settings, characters, and narratives can empower players and expand their perspectives and knowledge.

Players of the same heritage as those portrayed in games may benefit mentally from how they’re portrayed on screen. When players see their own cultures reflected in their games, it can help to validate their experiences and way of life, creating a sense of inclusion and belonging. This can benefit players’ mental health, especially those in marginalized groups.

Game developers may benefit from inclusivity in other ways, too. When developers set out to create diverse games, they may begin to reflect those values in their hiring practices. They may start to see more value in including members of different cultures in their creative processes. Their creative meetings may become more dynamic, allowing for greater innovation and fresh ideas. These actions can enhance the creative process and include more voices and insights. Plus, they help to create richer, more immersive games.

Inclusive games may even break some cultural barriers and foster connections between communities. Moreover, they can improve empathy and understanding between different cultures. When players embrace different perspectives through the eyes of diverse characters, they will develop a deeper appreciation for the vibrant cultures around them.

Challenging stereotypes through games creates a digital space where everyone feels valued and welcome. Aside from cultural diversity, games can promote diversity in other areas of life, from ability and identity to personal preferences. This can further dismantle stereotypes and promote inclusion among all kinds of people.

The Takeaway

The world is focusing more and more on inclusion and diversity. This is why respectful cultural representation in games matters now more than ever.

While classic card games like Solitaire will always remain a player favorite, games that celebrate cultural diversity are rapidly growing in popularity, too. This trend in gaming is driven by empathy, collaboration, and a commitment to include as many voices as possible. Developers who embrace the many cultures in the world can create games that entertain players and educate and inspire them, too.

Players also have a significant role in promoting inclusive games. Those who seek out and celebrate these games create more demand for cultural representation in the media. This higher demand from players can shape the gaming industry to reflect true diversity and respect for the world’s cultures. It’s a simple but effective way to change the world while having fun!

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About the Author: Angelica Hoover is a health and wellness writer who is committed to helping people live longer, healthier lives. She covers topics around female longevity, menopause, sleep, and lifestyle optimization.

Photo by VAZHNIK: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-in-plaid-long-sleeve-top-playing-a-video-game-7871543/

The opinions and views expressed in any guest blog post do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in the article or linked to therein. Guest Authors may have affiliations to products mentioned or linked to in their author bios.

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