We have advanced in many arenas, but our diversity is definitely weak, both within studios and in our game characters.
I’m not calling for video game affirmative action, per se, but too much of the same thing leads to an insular medium. And why is it that so many of our protagonists look the same? Why should the protagonist be Caucasian and not African? Or Indian? Who will it alienate?
Williams found, further, that while the in-game representations didn’t match the U.S. population, it did match the ethnic makeup of the IGDA. So, it seems, we make characters that look like us, not like our players […] .
White people are the "safest" group to include in entertainment media. You can make them heroes, you can vilify them, and nobody will bat an eye. Make your protagonist black, and you’re likely to get some backlash about the portrayal, no matter how hard you try. That’s nothing compared to the can of worms you open if you make a nonwhite character a main villain. The backlash may not be severe, but I think developers are still wary of it.
In one of his interview, Cliff Bleszinski was asked about that and he answered that it was due to the technical limitations of current technologies. It's easier to make bald space marines […] .
This whole discussion just reinforces one point. Where are the female protagonists? Women make up roughly 50% of the population (varies slightly from country to country ).