Actress & comedian Aisha Tyler recently spoke out about the continued lack of diversity in the video-game landscape, both onscreen and on the development side. Tyler, who frequently talks about playing games on her podcast, Girl on Guy, says that gamers are a group that has been previously excluded, and that they are now excluding other people.
While Tyler is mostly known as a funny girl who tells jokes for a living she is also a big name in video game circles. An avid gamer herself, she’s hosted game developer Ubisoft’s press conference at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles — one of the largest gaming trade shows in the industry — for the last three years.
NPR recently caught up with the actress to talk about this lack of diversity problem; “Obviously people can talk about the misogynist tropes in that game — her boobs were too big [and] she had on short shorts — but the fact of the matter is she was a badass, and a lot of men were playing as a woman for years and years,” she says.
“In the end, it will be about commerce and demand,” she says. “These companies are in this business to make money, so it’s going to have to come from the gaming community — and I think it is, and continues to do so.”
Tyler also discusses women behind the scenes of video games, namely development. It’s not that girls and women are just discovering video games. So if women and girls are playing games, why are there so few involved in the industry that makes them?
“That’s problems in our school system. That’s problems in getting girls into math and science when they’re young,” she says. “We can’t blame that on the gaming industry.”
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