Hey Ash Whatcha Playin'?
Why arbitrarily including non-hetero, non-white characters makes the world a better place
My only criticism of this piece is that Anthony Burch, lead writer on Borderlands 2, may be going too far in being respectful to some seriously gross ideas. This notion that somehow white, hetero people are "normal" is so far off the mark that I don't even know where to begin.
Even when Burch ignores (intentionally, I think) the wrong-headed bigotry of the argument he's crusading against, he still manages to make some great points.
Popular culture has backed itself into a corner. It ignored diversity so severely for so long that now any character who isn't a white male is now considered some kind of anomaly that must have a reason for existence. If you deviate from white male characters you'd better have a good excuse. People aren't just allowed to be people, they start off as white males, and any deviation needs to be explained, justified, and discussed.
The thesis, for Burch, seems to be that no matter what you do with a character you'll be causing some weirdness. "Arbitrary" diversity, in the real world, isn't.