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More on African Americans and Video Games

February 20, 2007

Black Voice News Online ran a two-part article a few weeks ago by Richard Jones called “The Bad News and Good News of Obsessive Video Games”. It touches on a few themes that came up in the earlier discussion about the disparity between Black game players and Black game developers, as well as an interesting bit on the influence of negative media images upon people of color. You can read the rest here (part 1) and here (part 2).

This bit, in particular, caught my interest:

The video game industry is all about money. No one really cares about your skin color or gender if you are a well-trained video game designer or illustrator. The problem is that our youth and adult players see themselves as players and not designers or illustrators. Therefore unless they’re motivated to get on the business end versus the player end of the video game phenomenon they will continue to be portrayed in a negative light and also miss out on a ten billion dollar a year industry.

While I certainly agree with Jones’s sentiment that more people of color should get involved in developing computer games, I have a hard time with saying that “the video game industry is just about money” any more or less than any other industry is, ultimately, “just about money”. As with any other media-production industry, the question isn’t just about how much money is being made, but also about who is making the money. And in this particular case, I would submit that there’s plenty of money that certain people can make by selling negative media images to young Black men.

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4 comments

  1. Thanks for this article. I am always thinking about video games and how as African-Americans we can benefit. I am a 35 year old African-American female with a daughter of my own and I would love to play a video game where I am starting off in a corporate setting at entry level and progressing to maybe V.P. in a video game setting.

    Why is it that we don’t create these types of video games for our kids to play. I think if much consideration is put into it, it can be fun and rewarding. I would definitley create something like this for African-American kids. This is an opportunity for us to be a part of the solution in our communities by way of video games.


  2. “The video game industry is all about money. No one really cares about your skin color or gender”

    That is b.s. cause Nielsen reported in 2005 & even now that black ppl buy more videogames then white ppl in america.

    And let be real….if damn near all ppl working on videogame in america is white….it would little scary for black folks to work in. I know I would feel uneasy about that. But, I shall move past my fear and work in the videogame biz.


  3. i like computer games that are first person shooting and strategy games .


  4. Song of Songs the Manga Series – Black Otaku
    —> http://songofsongsthemangaseries.com



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