Epic Games and Dove have teamed up to rebalance the way women are represented in gaming.
62% of women feel misrepresented in video games. To try and rectify this, Dove has partnered with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine’s education team and Women in Games to create a series of avatars that reflect the spectrum of players.
‘Real Virtual Beauty’ was inspired by research conducted by Dove, that showed that many young girls’ self-esteem is being negatively impacted by the current lack of diversity across avatar characters. The campaign film shows a group of women who are challenging the status quo of video games and questioning why they are being shown characters that just don’t look relatable to them, the shared call to action rings: ‘Let’s make virtual beauty, real’
“Dove believes that beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety, in every aspect of life, both real and virtual,” said Leandro Barreto, vice president at Dove Global.
“Although the games industry has made significant strides to become more inclusive, progress needs to be accelerated to challenge the narrow definitions of beauty still visible in the virtual world. We hope to make a real impact on the millions of women and girls who are spending their free time playing games.”
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To coincide with the video, there will be a series of projects such as the Real Beauty in Games Training Programme that hopes to help broaden representation and redefine how women and girls are symbolised in games.
“The toxic role that television or movies used to play in culture is now often experienced in the world of gaming. From a very young age, millions of girls are exposed to the negative stereotypes of beauty that games can portray,” added Tomás Ostiglia, executive creative director at Lola MullenLowe Madrid.
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“The Dove Real Virtual Beauty project demonstrates how difficult it is for women and girls to see real representation in the world of games, but with the creation of avatars that are diverse and inclusive there is a solution to this issue.”
Launched during the EGX gaming event in London, the campaign will be supported by outdoor and social activations.