Fighting Overwatch UPS Man

Activision Blizzard's new "diversity space tool" gets frosty reception from devs

Reading now: 831

Today Activision Blizzard made public a tool that it plans to deploy across its teams in the coming months. It's called the "Diversity Space Tool," and unlike other game development tools, it's not directly used to generate game content, but rather to evaluate the diversity of game characters and quantify that diversity in numbers and spider charts.The tool was apparently created by the team at Candy Crush developer King, and tested on games like Call of Duty: Vanguard, which featured an international cast of diverse characters fighting Nazis in World War II.

It's also been tested by the Overwatch 2 team, who expressed "optimistic first impressions.There's plenty of good intent behind this new tool.

King Globalization Project Manager Jacqueline Chomatas explained in Activision Blizzard's blog post that the intent of the tool was to evaluate game characters while they're being iterated on, to help show their creators there might be stereotypical patterns being expressed that reinforce classic ideas of sexism, racism, or other biases.

Calling it a "measurement device," Chomatas explained that the tool is meant to "identify how diverse a set of character traits are and in turn how diverse that character and casts are when compared to the ‘norm.’"King employees also apparently spent time developing this tool in their off-hours as a "volunteer" effort, which does not bode well for a company claiming this as an effort to prioritize diversity.Again, there's a lot of good intent here.

The website is an aggregator of news from open sources. The source is indicated at the beginning and at the end of the announcement. You can send a complaint on the news if you find it unreliable.