"We want to open up a conversation about race in video games," write Dr. Samantha Blackmon and Alisha Karabinus in a Kickstarter video for Invisibility Blues, a proposed video series exploring racial representation in the world of gaming. It's an issue that comes up often at Offworld, but as the video notes:
Writers, critics, academics, and journalists have been talking about race in video games for years, and yet the representation of people of color in gaming hardly seems to improve. When PoC are presented, many lack nuance. Sometimes, they are completely missing from game worlds, or, if present, are relegated to background roles. We want to create a video series exploring the best examples of diverse characterizations, the worst, and the whole spectrum between.
Blackmon, an Associate Professor of English at Purdue University, and Karabinus, Purdue PhD student, are also writers for Not Your Mama's Gamer, a diversity-focused games website founded by Blackmon that features analysis from numerous female academics. Although they've created videos for the website before, they want to launch Invisibility Blue as a dedicated series, with five episodes in mind:
–Character Generation Engines and Representation
–Reactions to Games Critics on Representation
–Women of Color and Intersectionality
–Indigenous Populations in North America
–Race and Fantasy Games
They hope to raise $4,500 to help cover production costs, their research and analysis, and stipends for the consultants and academics whose voices they wish to include. Currently, the campaign is a bit over the halfway mark, with only eight days to go.