Activision Blizzard Announces Tool That Measures Character Diversity

The gaming industry has long had a problem with diversity, and there have been initiatives by different studios over the years to correct the problem. But not all efforts, however well-intentioned, are good. In a blog post, Activision Blizzard detailed the decision to use a “character diversity tool that quantifies ethnicity, beauty, cognitive ability, and other things that indicate “you are different”, is a measure that seems particularly bizarre, if not offensive.

Developed by King and MIT Game Labs, this diversity tool was created to “create and monitor guidelines for the design and creation of characters”. King’s Globalization Project Manager Jacqueline Chomatas further explained the tool’s mission, saying, “The Spatial Diversity Tool is a measuring device, to help identify how diverse a set of character traits is, and by in turn, how diverse this character and cast are when compared to the ‘norm.'”