France – A new campaign by Orange spotlights the lack of cultural representation in gaming and introduces a diversification of avatar skin tones and fashion honouring under-represented communities.
Africa and the Middle East are emerging as gaming hotspots, but local players don’t see themselves represented on screen. That’s why French telecoms company Orange and media firm Publicis created Cultural Avatars. Gamers from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region can now wear their traditional outfits in The Witcher, Minecraft and other virtual realities.
Orange enlisted three young designers from northern Africa, the sub-Saharan region and Madagascar to create culturally relevant designs. The latter brought their vision and expertise to the team of gaming developers who turned traditional fashion into video game attire.
With Cultural Avatars, Orange stresses the need for more diverse narratives in gaming. We previously highlighted in Affirmative Avatars how netizens interested in gaming and digital fashion are a diverse group of distinct identities, values and aesthetics who wants to feel represented.
The gaming and entertainment industry should set ambitious diversity and inclusion strategies that include talent recruitment, uplifting marginalised voices in their content and opening up the virtual realms they create to all cultures