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How Dove is championing inclusivity in gaming with first coding guide for textured hairstyles

Sophie Smith
17 November 2023

Dove has partnered with Open Source Afro Hair Library to launch the "world's first" free guide for coding textured hair and protective styles in video games.

Created by Black artists, Code my Crown is a instructional guide for coders and developers to code more diverse, true-to-life depictions of Black hairstyles in 3D to encourage more representation in the virtual world of gaming.

It comes as 85% of Black gamers believe video games poorly represent textured hair, while 74% of developers want to play a role in promoting better representation of textured hair in gaming and learn how to code textured hair.


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To address this, Dove and Open Source Afro Hair Library identified the top textured and protective hairstyles currently missing or misrepresented in video games.

The partnership then enlisted a team of Black 3D artists, animators, programmers, and academics – from around the world and across the Black diaspora – to develop 15 original hair sculpts that can lay the foundation for hundreds of virtual hair possibilities.

Each sculpt comes with step-by-step instructions, 360-degree photo mapping, and cultural insight so that any developer, anywhere, can better model and represent textured hair and styles in the digital world.

Leandro Barreto, Senior Vice President at Global Dove Masterbrand, said:  "At Dove, we believe every single person should see their beauty represented in the world around them – this is no different for the virtual world.

"The importance of accurately and respectfully depicting textured hair in video games cannot be overstated, and we are proud to play a small part in taking action to set a new standard for diversity and representation in video games.

"There is more to be done to ensure Black gamers see themselves in the games they play, but we can't do it alone. We are calling on gaming developers and industry leaders to join us to help make virtual beauty a reality with Code My Crown."

The move follows Dove's previous initiatives to challenge representation in gaming. Last year, the brand launched a campaign to encourage more diverse female characters in video games and support girls with self-esteem education.

The Real Beauty in Games campaign, developed in partnership with Women in Games, Epic Games and Toya, championed the authentic, diverse and inclusive representation of female characters in video games.

As part of this, Dove introduced Real Beauty in Games Training, which invited game creators to help "reflect on the diversity we see in everyday life" and avoid contributing to stereotypes and biases in design.

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