Petiri Ira on the Open Source Afro Hair Library

For gal-dem, Petiri Ira wrote about the Open Source Afro Hair Library, a burgeoning queer, feminist, pro-Black resource that pays artists to create better Black hair textures and styles for video game characters:

Recently the library offered a $2000 stipend for digital designers to contribute tresses and textures that relate to the theme of ‘tonic masculinity’ to widen the number of black men’s styles in the sphere and personalities available in the games. Bringing in Black artists to contribute to the assets seen in games is vital for solid change in the industry that has been dominated by white designers who are overlooking subcultures and nuances in the hair of their characters. From a financial point of view, white people are also the highest-earning players in 2019 featuring gamers Johan Sundstein, grossing $7.2 million, and Kyle Giersdorf earning $3.2 million. The problem is, that the gaming industry neglects to employ Black artists, gamers, and creatives in the workforce or give Black gamers opportunities to enter competitions where they compete equally with their counterparts.

I applaud this project and its efforts. Nobody wants to see Black characters with busted headtops if they’re luckily enough to get into games in the first place.

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