The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

If A Video Game Company Can Do It, What’s Your Excuse?

For all the talk about diversity and inclusion being spouted by companies, I don’t see much diversity and inclusion.

I still see companies mainly filled with people like me and where there is diversity, it tends to not be at the management level.

And on the rare occasion that it is, you then see the media go after these people with a zeal rarely seen towards anyone white. Or male.

Of course, diversity is more than simply heritage … though companies often use that as a convenient excuse to not hire People of Colour, ignoring that – SHOCK HORROR – People of Colour can also come from low income areas, have physical disabilities, be members of the LGBTQ+ community and/or have any other number of ‘minority’ characteristics you wish to throw at me … which is why I am so excited by a new video game that deals with diversity head on.

Forza Horizon 5 is a brilliant racing game on XBox.

The graphics are amazing.
They’ve introduced a ‘story’ mode to the game.
And the world you get to explore is almost limitless.

But … and it’s a big but … the really brilliant thing is the level of customisation they allow you to make of your character.

Look at this …

And this …

How amazing is that!

You can customise your identity and add prosthetics.

No doubt, this will cause huge offence to presenters on Fox News for succumbing to ‘wokeness’ which makes it even better … but they’re missing the point in 2 fundamental areas.

1. Being called woke means being called someone who considers the context and needs of others so they can live a similar life in terms of opportunity as you. For me that’s a compliment, not an insult.

2. The option is not to get headlines – though it does, because of its rarity – but to allow people who are minorities, feel seen and valued and celebrated for who they are, not who they aren’t. Anyone who thinks that’s a bad thing to do can basically go fuck themselves.

The gaming industry has a bunch of issues – from how it operates to the storylines of the games it makes – however they seem to be far more committed and focused on making change than so many of the companies who talk about their D&I programs on social media and in magazine articles.

People can accuse Forza Horizon of jumping on the woke bandwagon all they like.

They can shout that they’re only doing it because they don’t want to alienate potential customers.

They can say it’s a ‘one off’ and should be treated as such.

People can say what they like … it’s still more than most have done and will mean far more to the millions of people who have been ignored by companies for decades for no other reason than simply being a bit different to supposedly ‘common’ characteristics.

And I can tell you, that will mean more to them than some press release about a companies D&I program that doesn’t change a damn thing.


Thank you to James Whatley for letting me steal his screen shots, even though I own the game myself. THAT’s how lazy I am. Not that you didnt know it.

11 Comments so far
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How are you feeling Rob?

Great post and great points, especially when you compare it to the claims companies make about D&I. It’s made me want to buy the game and I haven’t bought an Xbox/PS for years.

Comment by George

I’m good mate. Groggy as hell but good. Thanks.

And I’m shocked you haven’t got a system after all the hours we wasted playing FIFA. Get one. It’s Christmas after all.

Comment by Rob

so completely back to fucking normal then.

Comment by andy@cynic

You know how bad it is is when toxic game companies are better than everyone else.

Comment by Bazza

What makes this powerful is they could have easily not done it and maybe not had any blowback for it. That they did shows an industry trying to learn and they seem to be doing it faster than many others.

Good to hear you’re feeling better. Take it easy Rob. I know what you’re like and it’s fair to say rest would do you good.

Comment by Pete

isnt he always resting? when does he actually do any fucking work? but for once a planner is talking some sense campbell, so listen to pete but dont take the piss out of jills extraordinary heart. ill call her later to make sure she knows when to karate chop you in the windpipe.

Comment by andy@cynic

i fucking hate gaming but i read something on how the designers worked with local government to make sure they represented the towns properly. thats proper fucking craft. wasted on an audience who just want to buzz around a country in their pretend cars.

Comment by andy@cynic

This one?

Comment by Pete

I read that too. It’s amazing and totally true when you play the game.

Comment by Rob

Wonderful to have you back Robert. I hope things are all good or well on the way to being so. This is an enjoyable read. The example you used is particularly good, revealing how diversity and inclusion is much broader than the definition often adopted by organisations. Well done.

Comment by Lee Hill

Robbie. Are you OK?

Comment by Jemma King

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