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Why is Baldur's Gate 3 being filled with bog standard white dudes?

The early release of Baldur's Gate 3 might sound promising, but it's a sad to see most players are just creating 'default Vault Dwellers'.

Peta Greenfield
Peta Greenfield
2 min read
Why is Baldur's Gate 3 being filled with bog standard white dudes?

Maybe we’ve all been inside for too long. It’s been that kind of year. But when you have early access to Baldur’s Gate 3 you’ve got a chance to dream big. Character creation sets up your adventure and, if Larian Studios' analytics have anything to tell us, it seems that we’re dreaming too small…

That’s right. Players with early access are overwhelmingly creating generic white dudes… here's the 'aggregate image' of all characters created by players so far, from Larian's recent update.

Let’s share something you’ve created yourselves (this is your own fault) through your choices in character creation. We took the most popular choices in character creation, and recreated this. We thought our analytics system wasn’t working! We checked. It is.

Congratulations, you’ve basically made the default Vault Dweller. What the hell guys. We gave you demon eyes, horns, and even tails. We are sorely disappointed. Go crazy. We worked hard on this!

This feels like an unfortunate confirmation of the long lingering (and increasingly unfair) stereotypes that the world of D&D is ‘white man business’.

The original Baldur’s Gate realm comes with a rich tradition of high fantasy built on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd Edition) model. But let me assure you that, despite the apparent evidence above, this game has had fans of all genders from the outset.

(Confession: I loved the original isometric Baldur’s Gate. The first time around. Yes, I'm that old).

RPGs have really taken off in recent years with a greater sense of gender and identity inclusivity. With flexible character creation and so much potential for individualisation, the mechanisms behind games like Baldur’s Gate – and the Dungeons & Dragons structures on which it’s built – means we’re really hoping to see the diversity shine through soon!

Role-playing is an outlet for escaping the quotidian. You have the opportunity to get away from it all: work, social media, existential crises, pandemics. It seems odd that so many are going for the basic model here.

Don’t take this too harshly, but I’m hoping to see some really unique individuals in a fantasy realm as rich as that offered here. There’s twenty-four races and subraces to choose from! And that’s just the beginning of the complexity offered for character creation.

Are you out there in early access land? Are you looking forward to the full release? Are you just excited to get cracking in this new game? Please, for the love of everything cool, dream big with your character!

GamesArt & Culture

Peta Greenfield Twitter

Peta is a historian and podcaster who loves nothing more than dusting off old books and reading about obscure priestesses and Roman consuls.

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