Animal Crossing I Can Be Me In But I’m Exhausted
Animal Crossing: New Horizons eventually provides the players their blackness for the first time in a primary Animal Crossing game. There’s an extensive variety of skin tones and hair types peeled from the start. It’s very rare for me to see my hairstyle in matches, but when I created my villager, he had the exact same cut and the little dude almost pulled off it as well as me. My villager could be me today, and I love that, but it took so damn long. It is hard for me to praise Nintendo for including it today when I, and so many more, needed it years ago. The pub for representation feels so dishearteningly low that companies are praised for such as content which should have been there from there start; we observe with our own hair in a game as a”triumph,” or having a dark character that isn’t a stereotype as something innovative. The industry should’ve been listening years ago.
Some black personalities from older titles are mythical, but that does not mean we should lower our standards
Representation has been a problem since the start of games. The early inclusion of black people from games was unbelievably cringey, and it is just in the last several years the industry has started to move away in the all-too-common stories about middle-aged white men (who are generally dads) and that things have begun to improve. A 2018 Eurogamer article by Malindy Hetfield breaks down the awkward ways early black characters were handled and puts them in to two camps of tropes: the frightful thug and the funky man.
It is remarkable how many black video game characters fall into those categories–even a few of my favorites, like Carl Johnson out of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and the carefree taxi driver B.D. Joe out of Crazy Taxi, are there everywhere. It is a messy situation because these figures were spawned from stereotypes, but I have also hauled onto them since youth because they were enjoyable and looked like me. But those performances continue to be black heritage, and a thing to hold onto. Though lots of the roles were wack, we can not completely discount them.
The very first step for a better business is listening to black folks; the next step is encouraging black people. More focus needs to be put on founders like TJ Hughes, a young black man creating a super-neat food simulation , and supporting organizations and events such as Game Devs of Color Expo, spaces that are thought to uplift black and other marginalized designers, programmers, and authors.
Supporting black individuals in games will be certain the standards for blackness in matches is higher. It’s as simple as that. Rather than a lot of non-black people in a game’s writers’ room theorizing the proper way a character would utilize African American Vernacular English, or non-black musicians wondering if black individuals have completely black palms and feet, there should only be black individuals working in that room. Tossing in a badly crafted black personality to fill an invisible diversity meter is not going to cut it –nobody needs any of that. Black people exist, black men and women play, and that needs to be reflected in the media they like and help create.
The only reason people durags, hairstyles, and skin tones are there is because black people spoke up.
The world at this time is messy and uncertain, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a fairly good distraction. It lets me feel at ease as me. I’ve been picking weeds therefore my place doesn’t appear to be a mess when my friends fly , and I can not stop taking pictures of my character doing any ridiculous thing. As I see my villager run across the island with his slick fade and his twists bobbing away, I’m left with trust. This addition required much too long, but it’s proof that change is occurring, albeit slowly, across the industry.
I am still tired, though. Talking about representation in matches is draining, and it frequently feels unworthy. The people that don’t want to hear will just not listen, along with a bunch of individuals with unflattering, vaguely racist profile pictures will continue to shout at me around the internet. I dream of a time in which games get to a place where I don’t have to write something like this, where developers listen and respect to their black crowds when problems arise, where black men and women aren’t an afterthought. Hopefully we get there soon.