This year has seen plenty of debate about the portrayal of women in games, but now Swedish trade association Dataspelsbranchen is launching an intriguing new project to analyse the topic.
What’s more, the government-backed research could end in some kind of labelling scheme, although news site The Local stresses that it’s currently unclear whether this would be a rating for every game based on how well or poorly it portrays gender equality and diversity, or a badge for games that do it well.
“I do not know of any other project in the world asking this question and of course we want Sweden to be a beacon in this area,” said Dataspelsbranchen’s Anton Albiin, who also had an answer for questions about whether focusing on this area would inhibit developers’ creativity.
“Of course games can be about fantasy but they can be so much more than this. They can also be a form of cultural expression – reflecting society or the society we are hoping for. Games can help us to create more diverse workplaces and can even change the way we think about things.”
Swedish government-funded innovation agency Vinnova thinks the research is worth a 272,000-kronor grant: so note for accuracy’s sake, this is a project to explore how the idea of these ratings would work, not a firm commitment (yet) to introduce them.