How Toca Boca formed their definition of diversity and use it in practise
Principles in focus: 1 – Everyone can use. Target group/Age/relevant demographic: 6-9 years old
Toca Boca has the vision of not excluding any kids in their products. That vision is of course a big challenge for the studio and has not been easy to take on.
After a long period of discussions we decided we had to make a clear definition of what we mean when we say diversity. We looked at existing definitions out there but felt the need to create one that was relevant to us and the products that we are making.
Here is the structure that we have used to make the definitions easy to understand for everyone working in different fields within the company.
When we had all definitions ready we sent them to be reviewed by our Diversity Advisory Board that was formed simultaneously. We also discussed them with other experts in our network.
So how have we been taking on the challenge of not excluding any kids in our app production in practise?
One example is from taking on the theme of vacation in the Toca Life app series. We put a lot of effort in representing different family structures because as a kid you most often go on vacation with your family.
In one of the hotel rooms in the app you can find this family of two dads and three kids. They are also possible to interpret as two friends traveling together with their kids. What the story actually is will be decided by the individual kids that are playing, since the play pattern is open-ended and the characters are props for them to use. We are just giving suggestions.
Another example is from when we were making a sequel in the Toca Hair Salon series. We got feedback from kids and parents asking to include afro-textured hair. This was a challenge we prioritised. When the app was released we got very positive responses from kids and parents feeling that they were finally represented in the app.
Our primary goal at Toca Boca is to have an overall diverse portfolio of apps because it is not always possible to address every aspect of diversity in every product. Everytime we take on a new project we ask ourselves what aspects could be focused this time and we always find something work with.
Relation to principle and methods
In relation to the D4CR first Key Principles Everyone Can Use we focused on a non-discriminating approach.