British Columbia

B.C. video game designer flips script on gender tropes and racial stereotypes

Kings of the Castle is a fairly typical first-person adventure quest — much like Nintendo's Super Mario — but instead of the player being enlisted to save a princess, the princesses are saving a prince. 

Part of growing trend of increasing diversity in video game industry

The video game Kings of the Castle has main characters who are women and people of colour. (Submitted by Frosty Pop)

A video game designer is flipping the script on gender tropes and racial stereotypes with a new game called Kings of the Castle.

The game is a fairly typical first-person adventure quest — much like Nintendo's Super Mario — but instead of the player being enlisted to save a princess, the princesses are saving a prince. 

Faisal Sethi is the game designer behind Victoria, B.C.,-based Frosty Pop games, which designed Kings of the Castle. He says he was inspired to create his latest game for his nieces. 

"I have 10 nieces. I have four on my brother's side and six on my wife's side. And so, you know, I really wanted to create something that was reflective of my immediate family," Sethi told host Kathryn Marlow on CBC's All Points West

A princess celebrates with her rescued prince:

Sethi says video games, much like popular culture in general, have skewed toward stereotypes of women and people of colour. 

He said it was important for his video game to reflect a "cornucopia of culture" and have a diversity of characters.

Kings of the Castle is part of a larger movement in video games, which have typically lacked diversity because they are often marketed to a narrow demographic of straight, white, middle-class men.

But Sethi says there's lots of work still to be done. 

"There is a shift in all culture, or rather all arts, including video games but not as much as I'd like to see. I think we're still on the sort of a precipice of that direction," he said. 

Kings of the Castle is now available on Apple Arcade — a subscription service that provides video games on Apple devices. 

Listen to the interview with Faisal Sethi on All Points West:

A Victoria video game designer is flipping the script on gender tropes and racial stereotypes with a new game called Kings of the Castle. 5:53

With files from All Points West