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Activision Blizzard brag about weird diversity tool, quickly walk it back after backlash

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rockpapershotgun.com

Earlier this week, Activision Blizzard published a post on their website about their "Diversity Space Tool". Developed by subsidiary King, it's a tool for rating video game characters along certain axes in order to rate their relative diversity.

Several people then pointed out that sounded mildly dystopian. Yesterday, Activison Blizzard responded, saying that the "prototype is not being used in active game development", and was designed as an optional supplement to other work.

Desigend by King alongside the MIT Game Lab, the tool - as described by Activision Blizzard - allows designers to weigh their character designs against a set of diversity guidelines.

These guidelines consider gender, body type, character role, pose, body movement, and aims to differentiate between "token characters and true representation." "During this process, the tool can also uncover unconscious bias, such as why certain traits are seen as 'male' vs. 'female,' or why characters from certain ethnic backgrounds are given similar personalities or behaviors," says the post.

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