Real Virtual Beauty
We’re on a mission to challenge and change the representation of beauty in the virtual world, and help make gaming a positive space for girls.
Dove has always championed Real Beauty. Since 2004, the Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) has become the largest-self esteem education provider in the world, giving girls the tools they need to build self-esteem and body confidence.
But the world is changing. More and more girls spend time in the virtual world of gaming, and an estimated 60% start playing video games before the age of 10. While gaming can have a positive influence, like finding new connections, communities, and ways to express your true self, the representation of women isn’t always so positive.
Female characters in games are often heavily sexualised, and created within narrow, stereotypical standards of beauty. 74% of girls wish the characters in video games looked more like women in real life, and parents are worried about the impact this representation will have on young gamers.
Introducing Real Virtual Beauty
That’s why we’re taking our mission to the virtual world. Dove is entering the world of gaming with the global launch of Real Virtual Beauty, a series of commitments challenging the representation of beauty online, and changing education for self-esteem in the virtual realm.
We’ve created a coalition of allies in the gaming industry and beyond, including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, Women in Games and Centre for Appearance Research. Together, we’ll work to train and inspire game developers all around the world to create a broader representation of women in games, and equip the next generation of gamers with the tools to build self-esteem and body confidence.
- To detoxify the biggest avatar marketplace and game development engine in the world, Unreal Engine
- To widen the representation of female characters through the Real Virtual Beauty image bank
- To train with all creators and moderators uploading on the platform from experts in avatar design and body image, giving them the Real Virtual Beauty accreditation
Real Beauty in Games Training
Dove has joined forces with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to launch Real Beauty in Games Training, a unique training and accreditation programme for all game creators and moderates uploading on the platform.
Gamers want true-to-life diversity even in the fantasy realm of gaming, but there’s work to be done on female representation in avatars. This training, given by experts in avatar design and body image, creates an opportunity for women to redefine how they are represented in gaming, and will help pave the way for broadening representation within the development stages.
The Real Virtual beauty image bank
As a result of this training, Dove and Epic Games are launching the Real Virtual Beauty Avatar Library – the biggest avatar library in the world dedicated to broadening the representation of female characters in gaming.
We invited gaming creators and developers to participate in more creative ways to express individuality, to help evolve self-representations in the avatar world. Dove will deliver a series of grants and awards to the best creators, to help fund and expand their work, along with the opportunity to feature in some of the industry’s biggest games. The library will include free-to-use avatar assets in Unreal Engine 4 and 5.
Let’s change representation in gaming
Together with our partners, Real Virtual Beauty can lead the way in transforming gaming into a positive place for women and girls.