Dove enters the world of gaming with the launch of “Real Virtual Beauty,” a global campaign by LOLA MullenLowe that aims to broaden representations of women in video games. With support from allies across the industry, including Epic Games and Women in Games, the campaign challenges the lack of diversity among gaming avatars and advocates for greater gender inclusion in the virtual world.
The campaign was inspired by a new research study from Dove and Women in Games that found that 60% of girls and 62% of women felt misrepresented in games, with over one third of young girls indicating that their self-esteem was being negatively impacted by the lack of diversity in gaming characters. In an effort to address and combat some of the harmful effects of this misrepresentation, Dove and LOLA MullenLowe teamed up to release a series of avatars inspired by real women.
The launch of “Real Virtual Beauty” comes with a series of commitments in partnership with Epic Games and Unreal Engine, including the Real Beauty in Games Training Program that aims to broaden and redefine how women and girls are symbolized in games. The training consists of six 10-minute modules that encourage game designers to create a diverse range of female avatars while avoiding common gender tropes that center their hyper-sexualization.
“Our goal with the training course is to educate game developers on the research that’s available so artists understand why representation in game design matters, and also to teach artists how to use the tools and techniques available to create more authentic characters so all players feel empowered to have fun with friends,” noted Julie Lottering, Director of Unreal Engine Education.
With the tagline “Let’s make virtual beauty, real,” this campaign is part of Dove’s greater push to build self-esteem and body confidence among younger audiences.