Across the majority of industries, now is not a good time to be a CEO. Sure, pay packets are skyrocketing for those at the top of the food chain but, with income inequality between those at the top and those at the bottom wider than ever before, trust in big business among the public is at an all-time low – a phenomenon which can be partly attributed to a wider cultural shift following the 2008 crash.
The gaming industry, however, is one of the few outliers. As a whole, it is proving itself to be much more concerned about moral and social responsibility than many other industries. Here’s how.
Diversity and Representation
Compared to the white, stale, and male industries such as finance and law, the gaming industry is a beacon for diversity. There are a huge number of women in top roles, whilst many gaming companies are spearheading initiatives to hire more POC developers and managers. Representation in video games is also much more progressive than in other media, with major titles such as The Last of Us, Gone Home, and The Sims 4 has recently won praise for the racial, sexual, and gender diversity they display.
Video games have always been at the centre of debates about wellbeing and health. Fortunately, many major companies are working hard to address these challenges and look after their players. One sector where this trend is particularly pronounced is the online casino sector. Major providers of casino games have set up means of focusing on this, such as Mr Green which now features a Predictive Tool allowing players to monitor their screen time and set limits on their deposits and losses. This focus on customer wellbeing over pure profit is the new ethical standard in the gaming industry, one that will continue far into the future.
Charity and Philanthropy
Gaming companies of all sizes have shown a strong willingness to use their resources to make the world a better place. The list of recent examples of this is endless. Sega recently used Sonic the Hedgehog memes to encourage fans to donate to aid projects in Uganda, raising millions in just a few hours. The digital game store Humble Bundle gives 100% of its proceeds to charity, having raised over £100 million this way so far. The company behind League of Legends, Riot Games, has matched millions of dollars in charitable donations from their gaming community. The list goes on and on.
The gaming industry has also paved the way when it comes to looking after our physical world. Greenpeace recently named Sony Computer Entertainment as one of the most eco-friendly major brands in the world, thanks to their low-energy consumption consoles. Meanwhile, Ubisoft has been leading the way with their Green Gaming initiative, which has helped ensure their game products are made out of sustainable materials and that none of their developers use paper manuals. Activision Blizzard has won praise for using soy-based inks for all of their products, helping reduce their carbon footprint considerably. It seems that green gaming is now the norm.
Of course, the gaming industry as a whole still has a lot of work to do. However, that shouldn’t detract from the great things that the biggest companies are achieving. The rest of the world has a lot to learn from the world of gaming.
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