Beauty product Dove teams up with Unreal Engine and Women in Games to "change the game" and boost diversity

Dove, UE and WIG band together
(Image credit: Unilever)

Beauty product Dove has launched a new partnership with Unreal Engine and Women in Games "to create a more representative, inclusive environment online". 

A survey commissioned by the brand surmised that despite the fact women "comprise almost half (1.3bn) of the global gaming community",  73 per cent of female gamers "believe lack of diversity is an issue in games".

It also concluded that "60 per cent of girls and women feel the current lack of diversity in avatars and characters has a negative effect on their self-esteem", with 74 per cent wishing "characters in video games looked more like women in real life."

Consequently, Dove has teamed up with Women in Games and Epic Games’ Unreal Engine – which it calls "the powerhouse behind some of the biggest games in the industry" – to launch Real Virtual Beauty, a "first-of-its-kind coalition to encourage developers to create a healthier, more diverse representation of women and girls in games, worldwide". 

"To paraphrase a line from its new campaign: Player One shouldn’t always have to be size zero," the company said.

To improve diversity, the coalition has launched the Real Beauty in Games training programme, an online, accredited course to educate "designers, creators and moderators about the beauty and diversity issues in gaming, and how to avoid unconscious bias across the stages of avatar and character development".

The project has also launched Super U Story on Roblox, calling it "the world’s first video game designed to build kids’ self-esteem". Super U Story is free and available now on Roblox across most platforms. 

"Dove believes that beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety, in every aspect of life, both real and virtual," said Leandro Barreto, Dove's global VP. "Although the gaming industry has started to make significant strides in cultural and diverse representation over the last few years, progress needs to be accelerated to challenge the narrow definitions of beauty still visible among many characters and avatars."

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.