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Science Daily (thanks Gamasutra) relates results of a study by USC's Annenberg School for Communication that finds the demographics of video game characters does not match the real world, saying "Males, whites and adults were overrepresented," even when you account for the fact that this group is also overrepresented when you look at who plays games to start with. They recognize some potential problems with the report's findings, including the fact that some game characters are aliens and animals, you do not actually see the protagonist in many first-person games, and that more and more games allow players to create a custom characters (which inspires the confusing note that: "Those games were included in the survey, with characters chosen randomly"). While one of the authors of the study does suggest: "These are highly underserved groups. It's a missed sales opportunity," he also cautions against jumping to conclusions: "The characters the developers put in the games do not match the real world," says social psychologist Dmitri Williams. "Our thoughts about why are all informed guesses."
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