Please consider making game a bit more culturally diverse

I like the dreadlocks that was added but it would be nice to see more stuff...and maybe more main characters with darker skin like our boy Hans.

Edit 1: I edited the post title to help clarify the suggestion.

Edit 2: My question can be divided into two parts: cosmetics and story.
Cosmetic: @ZorokiHanuke pointed out that there's plenty of things to work with on character creation. I did some search on the on the NA and JP and saw lots of stuff to work with, so pardon my ignorance on this part (and of character creating skills 😉 )

Story: This is loaded one and maybe I'm still new to the PSO2 story. I read all the productive comments and they all sides had valid points and I’m personally not exactly sure what I'm suggestion anymore before of it. I'm not sure where I got this from but I always joke that you can ask 5 people to summarize a story, you will end up with at least 6 different versions. Anyway, we're just having a conversation, that's all...please respect others and keep it productive (and also read this thread https://forum.pso2.com/topic/581/please-read-this-before-posting-replying-in-this-section)

I don't see the problem. This is one of the most multi-ethnic games I've ever seen. We basically have at least 1 character for each ethnicity. The main characters of the story are neutral, no culture in particular, except EP4 where there are characters of Japanese culture and ethnicity, but it is obvious since they live in Tokyo.

For the rest we have robot characters, horned demons, and elves. They are not human. Everything looks fine to me. 😄

@WATCHMEHEAL Do look forward to NGS! Probably the dev noticed the importance of diversity through running the global server, but I guess it was too late for them to change the story of the OG PSO2 😢

EDIT: additional note. The main story of PSO2 has already been concluded on JP server. And as for episode 6, I only noticed one main character of darker skin.
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I agree, the game is a bit lopsided, though Japan is a bit lopsided at 97.8% of people of Japanese descent. I don't think Japan is as exposed to diversity, and this is going to be a place of failure for a lot of Japanese games have appealing to a western audience.

I'm 100% for this request.

@Michelle said in Please make game a bit more culturally diverse:

For the rest we have robot characters, horned demons, and elves. They are not human. Everything looks fine to me. 😄

I'm not a person of color, but my understanding is that the request is for us to have robot characters, horned demons, and elves of color. The player is who matters, and I'm sure such a request can fit in universe. If I take a step back for a bit, I start to realize the representation is very sparse (hans).

I know there is probably very little to do for this game, but if nothing else this should be considered for New Genesis.

@Moei This a choice of the authors, not player choice. You can suggest, sure, but this should NOT be a standard for every videogame. Plus, is not true that there are 97.8% of people of Japanese descent. As I said before this is one of the most multi-ethnic games I've ever seen, no need to do 33.3% black, 33,3% yellow, 33,3% white.... this is ridiculous.

The game is perfect as it is.

aaaand, I'm a person of color. Not white. (I've never been outraged, and I've never demanded diversity in video games. I have always respected the authors' choices for everything.)

@Michelle has some great points and I certainly don’t want overhaul change to their formula but as @Moei and others are saying, we’re just asking them to consider making some changes in the future, that’s all. =3

I edited the post title to help clarify the suggestion.

Thanks everyone for the productive replies!

Game is already incredibly culturally diverse and you can even have heterochromia, not sure what more you'd want.

typical liberals brain wasted in the entitled mannerism. Can't believe people believe their has to be a equal race or color per game. If this was a thing guess what marvel and dc universe would not be around nor would anime. What a joke of people here with this logic. If you don't like it make "your own ethical game" yourselves.. sheeeshh.

It's one thing to naturally write characters into a story, that happens to have darker skin tones, than it is to force a character to be written around said skin tones, as it tokenizes them. Same thing happens in Hollywood these days. They are so worried about making those that cry out for diversity in film happy, that they never stop to think about how the character is written, or how that writing makes the actor portraying the character feel. The people that want diversity the most, rarely actually care about the characters they asked for, be it the depth of the characters backstory, or personality, and just want representation for representation sake. It makes the character an empty shell, a husk devoid of any real character, and you wind up with something less than what you would have had with a character that was written by someone with the sole intention of telling a good story.

The same can be said of writing a character for the sake of inclusion, based solely around gender identity, or sexual orientation, as it lowers the overall quality of character. In real life for instance, are we not more than the sum of our parts, the color of our skin, or what we find sexually attractive. Why should we define ourselves based around something so trivial, and so meaningless? Instead the character of our being should be how we treat others, and how we act in the darkest of situations. But instead society seems Hell bent on locking people into saying I'm this, or I'm that, which has only ever divided us, instead of simply calling ourselves human.

By extension, the characters we write now, are less about telling a story about how a man or woman, sacrificed everything so that others could survive total destruction, or a story about how someone using their intellect made a better future for their children, has now devolved into identity and gender politics, with the sole intention of focusing on our differences, rather than our similarities. Given PSO2 seems to me at least, a story about very different people, putting aside those differences to stop a great number of evils, I feel like a developer should only ever add in a character, of a darker skin tone, based from a writing standpoint, rather than forced diversity, as it would feel less sincere otherwise.

That all said, a player can choose to represent themselves, or whatever they happen to feel like being at that time, given the option to be a living cyborg. As such, I don't agree with the overall idea of forced diversity in a game, simply because someone asked for it. The diversity needs to come naturally from the writing, and character design. It should be something the designer is passionate about, because then you would have diversity, and a quality character.

OP's intention may be good, so let's not forget that. But PSO2 isn't about Earth stuff. It's about space mages, and those space mages can be slightly different from Earth humans in that they may not have exactly the same skin colors and facial feature variety as people from Earth, considering their gene pool comes from what the Photoneers made. These characters simply exist for a lore and a story that's only tied to Earth through what went on in EP 4, and yes, EP 4 did add a Black person (which many, me included, felt should have had a lot more story on him but at least I'm glad he existed). As for cosmetics for player creation, I completely agree with it. The more stuff, the better. We DO have afros and with some work, people can create faces from different Earth ethnic groups already. So at least for the players, there's good diversity.

@Michelle said in Please consider making game a bit more culturally diverse:

@Moei This a choice of the authors, not player choice. You can suggest, sure, but this should NOT be a standard for every videogame. Plus, is not true that there are 97.8% of people of Japanese descent. As I said before this is one of the most multi-ethnic games I've ever seen, no need to do 33.3% black, 33,3% yellow, 33,3% white.... this is ridiculous.

The game is perfect as it is.

aaaand, I'm a person of color. Not white. (I've never been outraged, and I've never demanded diversity in video games. I have always respected the authors' choices for everything.)

Sorry, for the confusion. According to the Japanese census Japan itself is 97.8% of Japanese descent, therefore I would not expect Japan to be as worried about representation as US developers. I don't work in Japan, but it would be fairly common for US developers to listen to talks about designing games to be culturally diverse, as well as have training and such.

I think it is important for Japanese developers to recognize this as well, as I'm worried they are just not exposed to this on a cultural level/academic level.

Getting a speaker and some cultural diversity videos wouldn't be too expensive, maybe even bring in actual people of color could help them write more culturally diverse characters in NGS.

Sorry, I am not suggesting changing the current game, I'm suggesting improving future stories by bringing in more cultural diversity training. I also don't think token characters are good. The idea is to use this to fuel the creation of future writing of characters.

I would still expect less people of color mostly because these characters WILL be hard for sega Japan to write. Though I think it would be great to have at least one person of color who is actually important to the plot and a very recognizable npc with good story. (As a start)

@Moei said in Please consider making game a bit more culturally diverse:

Sorry, for the confusion. According to the Japanese census Japan itself is 97.8% of Japanese descent, therefore I would not expect Japan to be as worried about representation as US developers.

I thought you were referring to the characters from PSO2.

I don't work in Japan, but it would be fairly common for US developers to listen to talks about designing games to be culturally diverse, as well as have training and such.

Well I don't think so, considering that US developers are erasing Japanese culture by replacing it with American culture where possible. This happens in virtually all game localizations, some more, some less. Also this thing of having games with cultural diversity is extremely ridiculous.

I think it is important for Japanese developers to recognize this as well, as I'm worried they are just not exposed to this on a cultural level/academic level.

What???? You see... we're in 2020, not 1930. Japan is the most culturally exposed country of the Asia continent. They know all cultures... Maybe more than you at this point. You don't know Japanese culture maybe according to what you said...

Getting a speaker and some cultural diversity videos wouldn't be too expensive, maybe even bring in actual people of color could help them write more culturally diverse characters in NGS.

Again, this is really offensive... "cultural diversity videos" It looks like a Nazi method of forced indoctrination. C'mon stop about this, you are kidding. You are not serious....

Japanese developers are not like North Koreans who don't know other cultures.... Diversity here, diversity there...... damn, come on. Are you kidding?

Sorry, I am not suggesting changing the current game, I'm suggesting improving future stories by bringing in more cultural diversity training. I also don't think token characters are good. The idea is to use this to fuel the creation of future writing of characters.

diversity training? ......................

I would still expect less people of color mostly because these characters WILL be hard for sega Japan to write. Though I think it would be great to have at least one person of color who is actually important to the plot and a very recognizable npc with good story. (As a start)

It's not hard, it's just developers choice. For you it's really hard to understand this.

@Michelle said in Please consider making game a bit more culturally diverse:

It's not hard, it's just developers choice. For you it's really hard to understand this.

Because I'm a developer, and we design in order to appeal to our audience. The story and characters are designed for the audience. I'm suggesting a way for them to study the global audience.

@Moei said in Please consider making game a bit more culturally diverse:

@Michelle said in Please consider making game a bit more culturally diverse:

It's not hard, it's just developers choice. For you it's really hard to understand this.

Because I'm a developer, and we design in order to appeal to our audience. The story and characters are designed for the audience. I'm suggesting a way for them to study the global audience.

Not all developers have to follow what you say. Also, the global audience means nothing, the game is still Japanese and what we have is nothing more than a localization. Forcing to create a game exclusively following the morality of every country in the world would make all games look like Fortnite, and that's not what people want, not for the genre like Phantasy Star.

I worked in the advertising department of a well-known localization company in England. Not everyone is like you, it depends a lot on the type of company and their target.

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