Black Lives Matter, Black Voices Are Essential

Hello everyone! Jordan here. GameSpot went into June with plans to kick off Play For All, a combo platter of gaming celebration and charity effort to raise money for COVID-19 relief. And we’re still doing that, don’t worry. But there’s a lot more going on in the world than COVID-19 right now. Cities across the US are now witness to massive protests against the ongoing violence towards black individuals suffering police brutality. In support of the protests, GameSpot has shifted the message of Play For All. We’re still raising money for COVID-19 relief, but we want to also show our support and raise money for Black Lives Matter.

So we want to take the time to highlight black creators and the work they do, whether they work for GameSpot or other parts of the industry. On our front page and social media, we’ll be sharing articles, videos, and podcast episodes that you may have already seen before, here or otherwise. We’ve compiled and will continue to add to a list of work below. That list includes projects that look at the black experience in pop culture, like Alessandro Fillari’s exploration of Far Cry 5’s setting and how it made him feel like an outsider and my look at how disappointing it is to see Borderlands 3 hand-waving the racist undertones of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories in its Guns, Love, and Tentacles DLC, as well as projects that have less to do with race but offer something you might still find interesting, such as Greg Thomas’ video of the 11 times that The Twilight Zone predicted the future. We urge you to take a few minutes to check out some of the coolest pieces of work from the black creators that are carving out a space for themselves in our industry every day.

Of course, the conversation doesn’t stop there. Acknowledging that there is a difference in how black people are generally treated when it comes to the police shouldn’t be the end of the conversation, and neither should these articles, videos, and podcasts that look at how race has informed representation in pop culture. Action is necessary, as is education. If you’re looking for ways to be educated in order to better know how to take action, consider reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World And Me, Cornel West’s Black Prophetic Fire, Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be An Antiracist, or Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want To Talk About Race. Writer and journalist Joshua Adams (@JournoJoshua) has also highlighted a pretty stellar list of reading material on Twitter–we’ve embedded their list below.

For those looking for language, facts, figures, histories, stories that explain “How did we get here?”, here’s a thread of books you can check out to learn how we got to this troubling point (THREAD)

— Joshua (@JournoJoshua) June 2, 2020

If you’re having trouble getting access to these books, there’s also an extensive collection of work collated in the ACLU database that’s worth perusing.

Black Creators Round-UpProjects By Black Creators About The Black ExperienceLong Reads Borderlands 3’s Lovecraft DLC Hand-Waves Major Issues With The Author’s Work (Jordan Ramée, GameSpot)Animal Crossing: New Horizons Has Afro Twists, And I Love ‘Em (Jordan Ramée, GameSpot)Far Cry 5’s New American Setting Made Me Feel Like An Outsider (Alessandro Fillari, GameSpot)Are Gaming Companies Actually Supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement? (Junae Benne, Medium)Black People Are Always The Side Story (Gita Jackson, Vice)Microsoft Finally Severs Ties With Racist Brazilian YouTubers (Gita Jackson, Vice)The Video Game Industry Has No Idea How To Respond To Protests (Gita Jackson, Vice)How The Game Industry Can Support The Black Lives Matter Movements (Junae Benne, GameIndustry)She Dreams Elsewhere is The First Game That Feels Made Specifically for Me (Cameron Hawkins, Dualshockers)Finally, I Can Be Me In Animal Crossing–But I’m Exhausted (Funké Joseph, GameSpot)Where Are Our Black Gaming Journalists? (Jeffrey Rousseau, USGamer)The Trouble Portraying Blackness In Video Games (Evan Narcisse, Kotaku)9 Black Superheroes Who Deserve Their Own Shows (Malcolm Venable, TV Guide)Marvel And DC Stars Reflect On Their Black Superhero Roles (Keisha Hatchett, TV Guide)Cheo Hodari Coker Reflects on Luke Cage’s Legacy (Malcolm Venable, TV Guide)Black Creators Are Hopeful for a Future Where Black Superheroes Aren’t “Niche” (Malcolm Venable, TV Guide)Treachery In Beatdown City Review (Funké Joseph, GameSpot)Black Work Matters (Mike Williams, USGamer)Videos/Podcasts Support Black Lives Matter – GameSpot After Dark #44 (Alessandro Fillari, Jordan Ramée, Tamoor Hussain, Michael Higham, GameSpot)A Lesson In Blackness (Kahlief Adams, Parris Lilly, Blessing Adeoye Jr., Zombaekillz, Pikachulita, and Cameron Hawkins, Spawn On Me)What It’s Like Building a Company for Marginalized Voices (Austin Walker, VICE Games)Projects By Black CreatorsLong Reads The Hard Costs Of Making A Game Alone (Jordan Ramée, GameSpot)A Little Death Positivity In Video Games Can Be Good (Jordan Ramée, GameSpot)How An Online Game Community Is Helping Each Other Through Hard Times (Jordan Ramée, GameSpot)Promare Review – Burnish Bright (Jordan Ramée, GameSpot)Stalk Market Scammers Are Plaguing Animal Crossing (Gita Jackson, VICE Games)Why a Forgotten, Now-Unplayable MOBA Still Has a Small, Thriving Community (Funké Joseph, VICE Games)Untitled Goose Game is a funny video game about an asshole goose. Its power is in its simplicity. (Allegra Frank, VOX)A cartooning superstar says drawing is our native language. It’s never too late to become fluent. (Allegra Frank, VOX)Fire Emblem’s Depiction Of Abuse Feels Real (Gita Jackson, Kotaku)Videos/Podcasts Streamers

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