Reggie Fils-Aimé has been opening up about a lot of topics since he left Nintendo and put out his autobiography, Disrupting the Game. In that book, Reggie talks about what it was like being a black man in an executive role, which isn’t something that’s too common in the game industry.
In an interview with Games Industry, Reggie took the conversation further and talks about both diversity and representation in the games industry. According to Reggie, the industry still has a long way to go, but progress is being made. You can see Reggie’s comments on the matter below.
It’s incredibly disappointing for the industry, and it highlights a broader issue. I do believe the industry’s commitment to diversity – and diversity in its broadest scope, of individuals taking their whole self to work, leveraging the experiences that make each of us unique.
I see that the games industry has been woefully behind embracing that level of diversity. You don’t see it in the executive ranks, you don’t see it in the leadership ranks of key developers. It’s incredibly difficult to find it in various games. For me as a Black man with my particular skin tone, hair, curls and everything else, it’s difficult to make a character look like me, and it shouldn’t be.”
…You need to see [diversity] in the levels below president or chief executive in order to see the pipeline of people who could step into that top leadership role at some point in time. So I do fear it’s going to take us quite some time because I don’t see that level of diversity one, two or three levels down. It isn’t there yet, and that’s a disappointing statement to make.”
When you get into the specifics of any company, I think what’s critically important is understanding exactly what’s going on, understanding whether the issue is systemic or whether it is a limited number of issues. And, to be clear, because we’re all people and a leader can’t be in every room, [that]is why culture is so important. Unfortunately there are always individual employee issues that need to be understood and positively worked through. But the critical question is whether there are systemic issues happening in a particular organisation. It’s an issue that leaders need to spend a significant amount of time being thoughtful about.”