I wanted to study the lack of accurate Black representation in video games and use my skills in Computer Science and coding to address this issue. Like many other Black gamers, I grew up without any main playable characters that looked like me. Part of what makes playing a video game fun is the ability to immerse yourself in the game environment and imagine that you are the player. Without accurate representation, part of that experience is lost.
For my Engaged Project, I made a wire frame of software that aims to amplify the voices of black gamer. It also acts as a resource for black gamers to make the games they own more accessible and relatable.
Sponsor: Richard Jenkins
Student reflection excerpt:
I learned a lot about the work already done to address the issue. I received so much inspiration from the work that has been done and the community that already exists. If I could go back, I think I would spend less time getting lost in all the research. I think that the problem is already well known and well proven. Most of my process should have been about making the space more inclusive instead of proving that the problem exists. I’m not 100% sure where the project will go from here but I’d be really excited at the idea of creating a team made up of other passionate about this issue.
Beyond the obvious merits of your work this semester – including the importance of the topic you chose, the quality of the product, and the potential for this project to grow in the future – I want to point out some less-obvious but noteworthy elements. For example, you merged objective research and creative work (data to show the problem, a well-developed wire frame, etc.) with deeply personal public statements (“we are tired”…so powerful). I believe you can take this even further by centering your own identity and story as a way to introduce your product. Also, you reflected on the tension between networking (relationships and external input are invaluable to any process) and manageability (it can be exhausting to do outreach and engage with other humans extensively). I trust that you will find the right balance as you pursue this and other projects in the future. Great work, Logan!