Dove is partnering with gaming industry allies to help level up the virtual world. Together, we’re increasing representation and diversity in gaming for women and girls – reaching them where they are with self-esteem education
Gaming has become the number one form of entertainment for teen girls in the US. 83% say that they play video games in their spare time – 60% of them before the age of 10. The stress relief and brain stimulation from gaming can have therapeutic benefits, and women and girls are using gaming to make connections and build communities in a way that lets them express their true selves.
But when it comes to a diverse representation of women and girls, the industry is falling short. New research from Dove, co-published with the NGO Women in Games and the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), reveals that these unrealistic beauty standards in the gaming industry make girl gamers feel misrepresented. Girls agree that the lack of inclusivity in gaming is an issue; 74% of girls wish more female characters in games looked like women in real life, while 62% of women feel misrepresented in gaming. Together, we can change this – so that the games young people play finally reflect the diverse gamers that play them.
“So often, female characters in games play into a narrow, stereotypical representation of beauty, or are heavily sexualised – and it’s affecting women and girls’ self-esteem.”
For over 60 years, Dove has championed Real Beauty. Since 2004, the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) has become the largest-self esteem education provider in the world, working to build body confidence in the next generation. By 2030, we will have helped ¼ million people build a positive body image.
Dove is partnering with gaming industry allies to level up the gaming world with the global launch of Real Virtual Beauty, a series of commitments challenging female representation in video games.
Together with our partners – Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and Women in Games, we’ll work to train game creators, developers and artists all around the world to create a broader representation of women in gaming and to help reflect the diversity we see in everyday life.
As a result of this training, participants will have the opportunity to showcase their work through the Real Virtual Beauty character art collection – hosted on Art Station, curated by Dove, and dedicated to broadening female representation in video games. To celebrate those who are participating in more creative ways to express individuality in the virtual world, we’ll deliver a series of grants and awards to the best Real Virtual Beauty collection creators – helping to fund and expand their work further.
In partnership with female-led gaming studio Toya, the Dove Youth Board and experts from CAR, we’ve created the world’s first video game specifically designed to equip young girls with the tools they need to help combat negative self-esteem and build body positivity for teens.