The mobile gaming industry has experienced exponential growth in recent years, captivating millions of players worldwide. Despite the growing diversity of gamers, not all experiences are reflected in-game, and the industry still has a significant journey ahead in terms of diversity and inclusion (both within games themselves and in the advertising that accompanies them). As an in-app adtech company, Kidoz believes it is essential to highlight the importance of diversity and inclusion within this thriving industry, from brands to developers to industry partners. We believe that by discussing how we can continue to grow and improve, and working together, we can create a more inclusive and representative gaming landscape that truly embraces and celebrates diversity on all fronts. With Pride Month officially kicking off this week, we wanted to join in the discussion on how mobile gaming and mobile advertising can take significant steps towards creating a more inclusive and diverse ecosystem in this remarkable industry.
The Significance of Diversity in Mobile Gaming:
Diversity in mobile gaming goes beyond just representation; it fosters creativity, innovation, and a sense of belonging for players. When game characters, storylines, and experiences reflect the diverse backgrounds and identities of players, it enhances engagement and immersion, making it more inclusive and enjoyable for all. "Representation in media can be incredible powerful, especially for groups that have rarely seen themselves represented." Game designers and advertisers can promote a sense of inclusion and belonging among players by making sure that everyone has equal opportunities to take part in and succeed in the game, thus creating a more encouraging and friendly gaming environment.
Inclusive Game Development:
Developers play a crucial role in shaping and promoting inclusive gaming experiences. By incorporating diverse characters, cultures, and perspectives, developers can create games that resonate with a wider range of players. Knowledge of a diverse set of player segments is a foundational starting point that informs all aspects of strategy and design from the outset, including gameplay, narrative, character and critical entertainment aspects such as connectivity and social play. Collaboration with diverse teams and engaging player communities for feedback is a great methodology to incorporate, that can result in games that are more authentic, more relevant, and have greater mass appeal.
Inclusive Marketing Strategies:
Inclusive marketing is essential for reaching and connecting with diverse audiences. Advertisers and game publishers need to continue to move the dial, and create inclusive ad campaigns that resonate with players from a plethora of backgrounds (such as age, ethnicity, and gender identity, to name a few). This involves showcasing diverse characters in game and advertisements, avoiding stereotypes, and representing diverse (player) communities in a respectful and authentic manner.
Accessibility and Inclusive Design:
“Good games are accessible games.” Ensuring accessibility in mobile games is key to inclusivity. Developers should push to design games with accessible features, such as adjustable difficulty levels, customizable controls, improving readability, and support for various languages and abilities. Prioritizing accessibility not only broadens the player base but also demonstrates a commitment to inclusivity. (Check out the latest accessibility guidelines for Mobile Games HERE.)
Promoting Diversity in the Gaming Industry:
To foster diversity and inclusion in the mobile gaming industry, collaboration and support are crucial. Game development companies, industry associations, advertising and adtech companies should actively promote diversity initiatives, support underrepresented developers and brands, provide mentorship programs, organize events, and collaborate with such companies as Able Gamers, Black Voices In Gaming and Women In Games International, that celebrate diverse talent.
The mobile gaming industry as a whole, has a tremendous opportunity to champion diversity and inclusion globally. By embracing diverse perspectives, creating inclusive experiences, and implementing inclusive marketing strategies, the industry can ensure that all players feel represented, valued, and included.
At Kidoz, we are committed to supporting and promoting diversity in the mobile gaming ecosystem. We value and embrace diversity, and foster a culture of inclusion within our own teams and global staff and hiring practices. Kidoz is dedicated to highlighting diversity and inclusivity by showcasing a wide range of individuals and communities in our marketing materials and prioritizing authentic and respectful representation, ensuring inclusivity across various backgrounds and identities. Additionally, we consistently evaluate our efforts to identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to promote ongoing progress. We encourage industry stakeholders to join us in creating a more inclusive future for gaming for all.