Black Names in Video Games #3: Black Girl Gamers

Black writer and playwright Rosario Blue wrote a great piece on Black Girl Gamers for TechRadar yesterday.

She went into great detail, chronicling the platform’s origins and reasons for being. Author and influencer Jay-Ann Lopez started Black Girl Gamers in 2015 after growing frustration with racism in gaming and, more specifically, misogynoir.

“I wanted the kind of same representation and comradery in gaming that was in beauty,” Jay-Ann told us. “Because in gaming you would see a lot more vitriol — be it sexism, racism — than you do in beauty. I was like, well this space needs to have been made five years ago! There were smaller spaces made, but … Like when I do things it’s either go hard or go home, and they didn’t — by my definition — go hard. They were quite small and understated and — not to disrespect anyone, because everyone has different circumstances in their life — I definitely feel like we should have had more of a splash in the scene.”

Besides the incredible events BGG has put on, the platform has also been featured on BBC News, ITV News, and Sky News, as well as a variety of gaming conferences on both sides of the Atlantic.

Arguably BGG’s crowning glory is Gamer Girls Night, which was the first UK gaming events of its kind, featuring a diverse mix of women who loved to game and cosplay. It was co-run by Jay-Ann and Stephanie Ijoma, who you may know better as Nnesaga.

The importance of platforms like Black Girl Gamers and Nnesaga can’t be overlooked. As Ash B alluded to in his article about the anti-Black imagery in Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad, the industry is plagued with people who “delight in predatory behaviour, misogyny and Anti-Blackness, and create works which are direct reflections of their character.” BGG is doing the work to dismantle that and it needs our full support at all times.

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