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Reimagining the Bechdel Test for BIPOC Representation in Video Games


  • Helen Griffin

Presentation author(s)

Helen Griffin ’21, St. Peters, Missouri

Majors: Anthropology; Sociology; Ancient Mediterranean Studies; Critical Identity Studies

Abstract

During a time in which many people have lost access to their in-person communities, video games have been a path to creating virtual communities both in the platforms themselves and in discussion circles and fandoms. Like many storytelling mediums, however, there are certain identities left out of the narrative for most video games.

In response to this perceived lack of representation, this project seeks to reimagine the Bechdel Test (a measure of the representation of women in fiction films) to focus on BIPOC (Black Indigenous and people of color) representation in video games. Issues of representation as a baseline and not as necessarily indicative of a positive BIPOC experience will also be addressed.

Though due to time constraints, this early part of the research will only focus on a measure of single-player RPGs, the end goal of this endeavor is an easily-accessible test that can be applied to any video game for more insight into how well the developers executed a diverse and fairly representational game.

Sponsor

Catherine Orr

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