Amanda Hawthorne Advocates for Ongoing Inclusion at EA

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Imagine playing your favorite video game where every character feels like they truly represent the wonderful diversity of the real world. This is the mission Amanda Hawthrone and her team at Electronic Arts (EA) are on. They’re crafting magic into the dialogue and characters of beloved games like EA SPORTS FC 24, The Sims, and Apex Legends. It’s all about inclusive language, that delightful way of communicating that doesn’t leave anyone out or cling to tired old stereotypes. And guess what? The United Nations is totally on board with this approach too!

Amanda’s job is beyond cool – she gets to weave inclusivity into gaming experiences, ensuring everyone feels welcomed, even non-binary individuals. She’s super excited about how English, with its gender-neutral ease, helps her include everyone. When speaking about Apex Legends, she notes, “In English, it’s far simpler to create inclusive language. Some other languages put up tough challenges, but nothing we can’t handle.”

Now, language is a nifty tool. It reflects and shapes the way we see the world. By adjusting the language we use, we can tackle those pesky gender biases and step up for equality. It’s like Amanda says, “In English, there’s no masculine default like in some languages, so we can talk about a ‘doctor’ and not imply a gender.”

When you’re plugged into a game, inclusive language might fly under your radar. It’s subtle work, but once you see it, you can’t unsee the care that’s gone into creating it. Players of EA SPORTS FC 24 might not have realized they’ve been scoring goals in an environment that’s had tons of thought put into respecting gender identities.

Amanda is like the conductor of an inclusivity orchestra at EA. They’ve got 32 language guides – one for each language they work with – and her team coaches everyone at the studio on how to use language that mirrors modern society. It’s not just for creating games but for everyday communication too. Players have yearned for representation, Amanda explains, “Gone are the days where video game heroes were presumed to be just male. What about the girls, and everyone else who games?”

EA is levelling up their inclusion game too. Take women’s football in EA SPORTS FC 24 for instance; Amanda and her linguistic expert have provided commentators and reporters with those language guides, all aiming for a common goal: change and inclusivity.

The company is embracing this shift across the board. Look at The Sims 4, where being non-binary is as celebrated in the game as it is in life. EA is dedicated to normalizing inclusive language and championing characters of all genders.

As for the future, it looks bright and inclusive. Just like the upcoming Starfield, EA continues to evolve with their audience, listening and adapting to ensure everyone feels part of the gaming world. It’s not just about fun and games; it’s about crafting a culture within video games where everyone is seen, heard, and valued. Now that’s a high score worth aiming for.

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