The games industry would not be what it is today without the contributions of Black creators, innovators, and voices. While there is always more work to be done to make the video games industry a place where all perspectives are equally represented and celebrated, Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and applaud the Black movers and shakers who've helped define what the industry is today.
Today we want to spotlight two incredible Black women featured in our book "Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play", whose contributions to the industry range from diversity advocacy to founding educational opportunities for aspiring game developers of color.
Frustrated by the lack of Black representation in games, in 2014 Tanya DePass took to Twitter with the hashtag #INeedDiverseGames, which quickly amassed a large following of gamers who shared the same sentiment. By 2016, DePass turned what started as a hashtag into a full-fledged non-profit focused on diversity advocacy in games. You can read more about INeedDiverseGames' mission here: https://ineeddiversegames.org/
Read Tanya's full profile from "Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play" below. Right click and open the image in a new tab to read at full size!
If you're looking for an organization that benefits BIPOC communities, Tanya recommends the Marsha P. Johnson Institute which works to elevate the voices of the Black trans community: https://marshap.org/about-mpji/
After more than a decade working in video game animation, Lisette Titre-Montgomery found a new calling in the intersection of games and diversity when Black Enterprise Magazine featured her in its cover story on Black women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Hoping to inspire a new generation of BIPOC game developers, Lisette helped found Project A Game - a partnership with outreach program Youth Uprising that offers an eight-week curriculum in coding and game design for kids.
Read Lisette's full profile from "Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play" below. Right click and open the image in a new tab to read at full size!
A cause Lisette highly recommends supporting is Gameheads in Oakland, California. Gameheads is a technology training program that engages and trains low-income youth and youth of color in the Bay Area for careers in the tech and video game industries. You can read about their mission here: https://gameheadsoakland.org/about/
Tanya and Lisette are only two of countless examples of Black excellence in the video game industry - did you know that Muriel Tramis was appointed a Knight of the Legion of Honor in France for her contributions to game design?
To learn more about other meaningful contributions to video games by Black women, you can download "Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play" for free here!