Let’s Talk Race and Racism In Games

I can remember the first time I watched Rosewood. It was a visual representation of what I read about in school. About the evil that one race of people can inflict on another. I remember finishing that movie and side-eying White people for about a week. I was young, but the truth was out, and I then knew what many people would try to forget. Racism, discussions of race and the way in which we treat those of color today share many of the similarities of the period in which Rosewood takes place. And while many forms of media attempt to depict the racial climate of America and our history, video games struggle with the idea that you can be entertaining and push boundaries.

When I initially decided to write this, I wanted to focus on my recent experience with Mafia III, one of the latest games to depict America during a time of civil unrest. However, I’ve found that in trying to discuss one game that I would leave out games like Bioshock Infinite and Freedom Cry, an expansion to Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Games that left marks on me as a black man who also loves playing games. Video games have the power to move us in a way that we have yet to experience, placing us in the center of racial encounters. Unlike movies, we are in control of the characters in these situations. We are active participants, and it is this shift that gives developers great power in moments they create, but many of these moments feel like the team lacked the conviction to push the envelope. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Race and Racism In Games”

hannah and irish

African-American Journalists And The Game Industry Part 2

 

“What a difference a year can make”…is how I wanted to start this post, but sadly I cannot. A year after the first African-American Journalists post and things are still the same. We hardly have any representation in games media and this year’s E3 proved that we still have a long way to go on the development front.  But the games industry isn’t alone, even tech companies like Google have published company statistics in an attempt to bring more light to the subject.  And after the events of #gamergate, people who love games have found themselves dealing with growing pains.  It is these growing pains that make me wonder if our energy would be better served creating our own platform.
Continue reading “African-American Journalists And The Game Industry Part 2”

African-American Journalists and The Gaming Industry Part 1

 

While you are reading this article do me a favor.

  • Open up a new tab in your browser
  • Visit your favorite major gaming outlet
  • Find the staff section
  • Count the number of African-American writers on staff

How many Af-Am writers are employed at your favorite gaming outlet? If you aren’t satisfied with your answer you can visit another site and follow the steps listed above. Did you find any this time?

I have often wondered why I do not see more African-American writers on the staff of popular video game websites. I know that we exist. There are plenty of gamers who are intelligent, articulate, and have a passion for games. Yet, when I looked at the staff list for 10 of the most popular gaming websites—I only found 2 African-American writers! It was a truth that I did not want to accept; Continue reading “African-American Journalists and The Gaming Industry Part 1”