There has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the treatment of women in games over the past number of years. While at times it feels like things are taking one step forward in the right direction, the industry tends to take two steps back just as quick. It looks as though Swedish officials have had enough and are considering a change in the way games are rated based on sexist content.
Sweden’s gaming industry trade group, known as Dataspelsbranchen, is looking to get to the bottom of the issue, both in terms of ratings on future titles and the way women are treated in the industry. According to reports, the group has received a government grant to begin initial testing on the idea.
It sounds as though the group will conduct Bechdel-like tests to first determine the degree in which women are being treated unfairly within the Swedish gaming industry (where there is only a 16% female workforce), before rating changes are introduced.
The proposed changes would see some kind of sexist rating alongside age and content listings, but it is somewhat unclear as to whether or not these changes will only apply to titles developed in Sweden or not. Either way, from Battlefield to Hotline Miami and Minecraft, Swedish developers are certainly represented on a global scale with major releases.
How this may effect sexism in the industry as a whole is hard to say, but it appears Swedish officials believe additional warning for parents and gamers could help to push things in the right direction.