And they really do.
You're probably familiar with feedback loops, right? Where a self-perpetuating cycle goes on and on without disruption? That's a cycle game developers need to break with treatment of minorities, and few are more outspoken on the subject than Anna Anthropy.
Anna Anthropy is an author of the book Rise of the Videogame Zinesters, and creator of Lesbian Spider Queens of Mars. At Indiecade, she gave a talk that - accurately - describes the current state of gaming's clumsy and awkward handling of minorities such as women, gay people and people of color.
Straight white developers, make games that straight white reviewers market to straight white players, who may eventually be recruited to become the new straight white developers and reviewers. Token characters are not the result of queer experiences. Games by queer people, people of color, and by women - because in 2012 women are still a marginalized group within the game industry - [are difficult to find in triple-A games.] Token characters tend to distract media and press away from the people who are actually making games and telling their own stories.
And she's right, too. I love Mass Effect, but it took three games for them to put gay ManShep into the game. And if we want to start changing things, we need to start with those who create. The ball is, and has been, in their court.
Julian "Mirai" Williams