video games, gaming industry
(Photo credit: korobskyph/Shutterstock.com)

Gaming Industry Moves Forward While Leaving Minorities Behind

The gaming industry is poised to be the next boom industry in American business. In 2018, video game revenue reached a new high of $43.8 billion, according to Entertainment Software Association and The NPD Group. Like many of the United States’ most profitable enterprises, the gaming industry is overly saturated with white males. As a result, most of the characters in their video games look just like them.

Seventy-five percent of people working in the gaming industry are men, and nearly the percentage identify as white. For gamers of color, the journey is long and with minimal reward. Lack of representation leads gamers of color to struggle with a sense of belonging.

“If you’re a young person of color playing games, you don’t really see yourself represented. That kind of instills in you this sense that maybe I don’t really belong,” Mitu Khandaker, a professor at NYU’s game center, told The New York Times in a recent feature on minority gamers.

If you walk into the production meeting at a big gaming studio, the room would look very homogenous. Along with people of color, women also are largely underrepresented in the gaming industry.

One young game developer is trying to break the glass ceiling. Davionne Gooden, a 21-year-old Black video game developer, is making waves with his new computer game that tackles mental illness while at confronting racial and gender biases. In “She Dreams Elsewhere,” the main character is a girl who is in a coma and confronts the “villains” — in the form of anxiety and depression — that are in her mind. The game also features an all-Black cast.

Gooden is optimistic about improvements in inclusiveness in the industry. One bright spot is that there is a big appetite within the industry for inclusiveness and diversity. A recent International Game Developers Association survey that showed 81% of people in the industry felt that diversity in the workplace is somewhat or very important, which is up from 63% from a survey in 2015.

Related Article: First All-Female Spacewalk: ‘One giant leap for WOMANkind!’

Latest News

tractor in field

White Farmers Sue To Stop Debt Relief Program for Farmers of Color

A federal judge in Wisconsin has temporarily halted a government program designed to help chronically disadvantaged farmers of color repay their loans — or forgive their debt altogether. Laura Schulte of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that “a temporary restraining order was handed down Thursday afternoon [June 10] by Judge…

stock exchange

Fortune 500 List 2021 Includes Record Number of Black Women and Female CEOs

When Fortune magazine announced its annual Fortune 500 list ranking the 500 largest United States corporations by total revenue last week, there were a couple of notable and historic inclusions. The list contained more female CEOs — particularly Black female CEOs — than ever before. Taylor Dunn of ABC News…

Emancipation Proclamation

Illinois Museum To Host Juneteenth Exhibit and Display a Rare, Signed Copy of Emancipation Proclamation

As we draw closer to this year’s Juneteenth celebrations on June 19, marking the 156th anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States, an Illinois museum has announced that it will help to mark the occasion by putting a rare, signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation on display…

Keystone XL PIpeline

Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline — Opposed by Indigenous Populations and Environmentalists Alike — Officially Killed

The Keystone XL Pipeline, a project equally reviled by environmentalists as well as the country’s Indigenous populations, is officially dead. Reuters has reported that the “$9 billion oil pipeline [that] became a symbol of the rising political clout of climate change advocates, and a flashpoint in U.S.-Canada relations was officially…

Jacksonville Florida's Acosta Bridge

Jacksonville, Florida City Officials Restore Pride Month Lights on Local Bridge Following Community Backlash

It’s been a colorful week of back and forth for city officials in Jacksonville, Florida. On Monday, June 7, the city debuted a decorative rainbow-light colored theme in downtown Jacksonville to help usher in Pride Month celebrations. The lights mimicked similar red, white and blue displays from previous months that…