America has had some success with portraying diversity in our released main title video games however the numbers of diversity as a whole is still significantly low.
POC and diversity in the gaming industry is still a touchy subject as female gamers are still being constantly harassed, matching skin tones for character creation is still limited, and POC characters in gaming are still reduced to being secondary characters. But, recently there have been several development and initiatives to increase POC and diversity in gaming!
POC in Play – UK
In the UK, a new group called POC in Play has been launched by several gaming titans and veterans to be able to improve equality and racial diversity in their games. According to the Guardian, POC in Play has noticed that representation in gaming is scarce as well as stereotypical. So their mission – to assemble more character creations that accurately represent a diverse skin tone, lobby other studios in the industry to increase their representation of visible diversity, and make a support network for POC to get their start in the industry as well as vent their frustrations. POC in Play is having their first networking event in March of this year! #IAMPOCINPLAY – Click here!
Black Girl Magic in Gaming
If accurate representation of women in gaming is obsolete then black women in gaming is non-existent. Well, Jay-Ann Lopez, a POC gamer decided to create BlackGirlGamers in order to help combat this! BCG is an online community which is a safe space for black women to enjoy gaming, connect, and network. Lopez recently created this channel due to lack of having black women to play with, and constantly being subjected to negative and phobia comments. The constant berating of POC women is very much alive and well as one can read on this subreddit I follow thanks to this link!
The Black Girl Gamers community has now grown over 1,500 members, and Lopez continues to create platforms to allow black women the chance to have their voices heard. The culmination of the BCG channel allows black women to show our face and prove that we aren’t as scarce in the gaming world as those would believe. As a black gamer myself, it is extremely important that movements like this exist because it allows me an opportunity to express myself creatively and connect with other gamers like me! I’ll definitely be keeping up to date on her website – which you can check out, if you click here!
The Game of Ancient Power
Its exciting to speak about diversity actually happening in the industry but its an another thing to see it! One of the games I am extremely excited about, and have been stalking obsessively is Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima! The Ghost of Tsushima is about a lone samurai Jin Saka in 13th century Japan at the height of Mongol invaders. Players will get to play Jin Saka as he goes on the journey to discovering the way of the Ghost. The game will have a mix of adventure, stealth, and swords as you learn what it took to become a real samurai in medieval Japan.
It will also be an open world allowing the player to be able to explore the rich tapestry of feudal Japan as you ride through the island experiencing authentic spaces and people! The Ghost of Tsushima will not only be groundbreaking by having an all POC main character lead gaming space, but it will also focus solely on telling more about Japan’s enriching history. While there is no actual date of release yet, PS4 has been gracious enough to let us eager fans get a taste of what gameplay for this epic game will be like! Check it out from one of my favorite game Youtubers below, on this link!
As with most media platforms the journey to visibly represent POC and diversity equally in still an ongoing journey. But it is extremely inspiring to see those within the community actively working hard to validate POC, and diverse spaces in the gaming industry. These are a just a few examples of actions being put in place to help us garner our spot in the gaming community and hopefully there will be a lot more to come!