As discussions about the current gender and minority dispute in the world of video games continue, progress is nigh.
At least, that's what Naughty Dog creative director and writer Neil Druckmann believes. In speaking to GamesIndustry.biz , Druckmann says that storytelling is getting better, especially in the world of indie gaming:
"As more and more examples come to light, I think more people are pursuing better narratives. And I hope criticism of games and game narratives is becoming more sophisticated. I think before you would have had a hard time talking about tropes and how women are represented in games, or how characters of color are represented in games. But now I'm kind of excited by the discussion and the kind of criticism games are getting."
Druckmann added that "change is going to happen much more rapidly going forward," and those who don't attempt to appeal to new audiences "are going to be left behind." As for big AAA productions, he says a lot of developers don't want to take the risk. After all, if something is working, why not keep doing it? But with more evidence of different types of characters out there, Druckmann said diversity will begin to spread.
"A lot of times in AAA games, people feel like they need to play it safe because there's so many parts of a giant corporation working on a global scale to launch a title that they don't want to take too many risks. But once you have enough evidence to say 'Hey look, this is actually not a risk, this can succeed commercially,' then creativity can flourish and new avenues can be pushed."
Naughty Dog's critically lauded The Last Of Us featured a very realistic female role; the young girl Ellie wasn't sexualized at all, and definitely had a big impact on the narrative. Let's hope we'll see more examples of this in the near future. I greatly desire better writing…