Games ignore minorities says study

Games, once again, face the charge of racism. A study of 150 games by the University of Southern California has concluded that white adult male charac

The study does have shortcomings but its main charge does have some credibility, echoing the findings of other less robust studies that pointed to the same conclusion.

One explanation, suggests the study, is that game companies assume their players are white males who only want to play as white males. But frankly there's little evidence that game players have such hang ups.

Male gamers happily swapped gender to play Lara Croft in Tomb Raider.

And I don't recall much objection from players to CJ, the black lead character of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, because he wasn't white. Both games shifted bucketloads.

And the increasingly common option to customise your character's gender and looks should eventually help make this a non-issue.

But it would be good to see game companies breaking the mould more often when it comes to characters. The players are willing and it's time game publishers took notice.