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Diversity: A Byproduct of Great Storytelling

According to Alyssa Mercante at video game site Kotaku, many gamers today lament what they perceive to be woke culture running amok. According to them, the multiethnic casting of central characters must be a result of diversity consultants forcing racial quotas on otherwise uninterested creators. If not for these overly aggressive interlopers, goes the thinking, the characters would hew more closely to their established norm (which just happens to be mostly male and/or white).

This is especially the case with Sweet Baby, Inc., a creative firm that works with game studios like Remedy Entertainment, publisher of titles like Control, Quantum Break, and Alan Wake 2. Mercante says that there’s a group on Steam, the main PC-gaming marketplace, with 100,000 members, dedicated to detecting which games that Sweet Baby has consulted on. Many such gamers think that Sweet Baby’s influence led to Remedy casting a black actress in one of protagonist roles.

“It’s absolutely not true,” said Kyle Rowley, Remedy game director for Alan Wake 2, when asked on X whether Sweet Baby mandated the casting. And when Mercante spoke to people at both Remedy and Sweet Baby, she found the opposite to be true.

Kim Belair, CEO of Sweet Baby, Inc., said, “Sweet Baby is, at its core, a narrative development company. That means anything from script writing to narrative design to narrative direction, to story reviews. One of the things that we do offer is cultural consultations or authenticity consultations … but the perspective is never that we’re coming in and injecting diversity. For the most part, it’s the reverse. It’s that a company has created a character, and they want to make that character more representative and more interesting.”

Sweet Baby co-founder David Bedard insists that the diversity of representation in video games is a byproduct of developers wanting to make the game better for all players. Blair said, “We are not censors. We have no interest in false diversity or in tokenization. We have an interest in making stories better, and making characters more interesting, and in developing a stronger language around narrative design…Those are the things that we are really passionate about.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

You don’t have to be politically liberal or woke or whatever to consider the needs of others as more important than your own. That’s the kind of life that Jesus modeled and that the Apostle Paul wrote about.

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