By Kayla Cowart, Community Cultivator
Gamers are more than the white male, nacho eating stereotypes- although, I do love me some nachos. In five years, the gaming community will continue to show just how many gamers are disabled, people of color, or even queer. These are my predictions as a black girl gamer on where were headed in the next five years. Pump your breaks though, before we jump to the future, lets take a look at the past.
Women And Gaming Go Way Back
What age did you first start gaming? I started at 4 years old, playing Pokémon Red and Blue in 1996 before I could even read. In 1980, Rebecca “Burger Becky” Heineman won the National Space Invaders Championship by Atari. Heineman is a transgender woman and the first person to ever win a national video game tournament.
I appreciate games like Fortnite because I can play an avatar that looks like me. Out of the 125 million Fortnite players, 27% of them are women. I too, am one of the women who logs in to play regularly with an avatar that has brown skin and curly hair. Although, not all games have a varied character customization like Fortnite. The games industry has a long way to go when it comes to diversity in games. In five years, we can expect to see more people of color developing their own games that tell the stories we would like to see.
Momo Pixel, creator of the viral black women’s hair pilgrimage game- Hair Nah, took the internet by storm earlier this year. That’s because Hair Nah disrupted the status quo of what a video game narrative should look like and centered it around a black woman’s experience of having her hair touched without permission. Whew, chile! Let’s all sing Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange. In five years, I want to see more people of color centered narratives in video games because there is a big market need for it.
We can’t discuss the future of the Black Girl Gaming community without acknowledging some of the leaders who are in the trenches right now doing the work. If you haven’t already, check out what the Official Black Girl Gamers are doing! Founder, Jay-Ann Lopez has a team of amazing community managers and Twitch streamers who are helping BGG members partake in a safe gaming space. Catch a stream at- https://www.twitch.tv/blackgirlgamers
Thumbstick Mafia is another organization created for women of color in the gaming industry. The founders, Anastasia “Seeker” (@chasinglux) and “Sharky” (@sharkyshood) are thought leaders in Black Gaming circles are create heavy hitting content. See their work at- https://thumbstickmafia.com/.
The Next 5 Years
Call me a hopeless romantic but, I see a bright future for Black Women and other Women of Color in the games industry. Not because the gatekeepers will finally open the doors of equality, but because Black Women have a history of making a way out of no way. Black Girl Gamers will continue to let their voices be heard and skills put on display for the next five years and beyond. To all of my black women in the games industry, just know, I’m rooting for you.
Madden Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida Turns Deadly
Sunday Afternoon a gunman opened fire in at a Madden Tournament. Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirmed there are multiple fatalities including one of the potential gunmen. There are 4 officially dead. The shooting happened at Jacksonville Landing complex an shopping and dining facility downtown Jacksonville, Florida.
There isn’t any official news of there being more than one gunman. There are warnings via the Jax Sheriff’s Office Twitter page warning people to stay away from the area along with the hashtag #TheLandingMassShooting. The Twitter page confirms there are multiple people hiding in the landing. A SWAT team is sweeping the Landing.
Gjoka confirmed via his Twitter he did experience a non-fatal wound, a bullet hit his thumb.
A witness said venue security was nowhere to be found during the event and it was through word of mouth people were passing on the word that a shooting had happened and they should get it.
There are possibly 5 dead and 10 wounded. There is a clip circulating with what seems to be a red laser going across one of the victim’s chest. We will not be posting that clip in this story. He is presumed dead.
Updates 4:32 pm EST
The GFLA Game Bar was hosting a Madden 19 tournament when the tragedy took place. The suspect, pronounced deceased, is a white male. At this point, we’re not sure if the shooter is a local or from out of town. There is speculation that he’s from Baltimore. The is a press conference which answered brief questions one confirming that The Landing is cleared.
Witnessed are saying they saw a man shooting at a park, then at the Library and finally The Landing.
Updated 4:05pm EST
It is confirmed the shooter took his own life. 6 victims total at the University of Florida Health Hospital only one needs to stay overnight. One of them being OLarry2k. We’re waiting to hear more on his condition. Twitter has confirmed he got the worst of it. Tony Montagnino, Twitter handle MaddenVtech, who was with him was shot twice but he is not in critical condition. We have yet to hear from Shift GodCole.
We’ve learned two of the victims’ identities SpotMe & TrueBoy are deceased.
Updated 9 pm EST:
The shooter has been identified as Baltimore resident David Katz. He won the Madden tournament in 2017
There were many people who beat him. Witnesses saying he was acting strange and wearing the same clothes all weekend. And after playing matches certain contestants tried to shake his hand and Katz wasn’t having that. It is said he left the venue then came pack with his semi-automatic handgun.
Overwatch released a new short today, Shooting Star, featuring D.Va. It’s a quick short about her saving the town, Busan, by defeating the Kishin. This clip shows all of her latest moves; fusion cannons, defense matrix, boosters, micro missiles, light gun, and even self-destruct. Let’s take a quick second to recap on some of her hold moves, remember when self-destruct used to kill D.Va?!?! Thank you for buffs. It would be kind of cool if she could fly for longer but, then she may be busted; so I’m happy with the way she is right now.
Overwatch really want to show the authenticity in this map to the point where they traveled to Busan, South Korea and captured actual sound from the city to insert in the game. This is a quick peek at the new map, Busan. Jeff Kaplan, Overwatch director, announced today via a video at Gamescom.
There are three areas for heroes and villains to duke it out in Busan. One, the Sanctuary is in a temple packed in with traditional Korean elements.
(Photos from Blizzard.gamepress.com)
Second, downtown with shows and karaoke bars plus a deadly train that passes over the control point – that’s going to require some quick reflexes and multitasking.
Third, Meka Base with moving walls along the control point to create cover and be a hindrance.
View character cosmetics whether they are unlocked, seasonal events or OW League with the new filter.
Hero Updates: Ana
– Biotic Rifle: Increase precision of Relative Aim Sensitivity while Zoomed by selecting Options>Controls>hero>Ana
– Shield Bash: Knocks down & gets knocked down by other charging targets like Reinhardt or Doomfist
– Earthshatter: Consistently hits enemies near walls
No longer hits enemies that enter the damage cone after the wave has passed that area
No longer damages enemies behind barriers even if the barrier is later dropped or destroyed
Will always travel up inclines and around the payload
Developer Comments: We’ve given Earthshatter a complete overhaul to combat inconsistencies with its performance. These changes will make Earthshatter’s behavior more predictable and effective.
– Widow’s Kiss: Increase precision of Relative Aim Sensitivity while Zoomed by selecting
Game Browser & Custom Games
Mercy begins a match with her Caduceus Blaster equipped
Blizzard World is now available in Deathmatch & Team Deathmatch
1v1 Mystery Heroes:
Mercy begins the match with her Caduceus Blaster equipped
The bug which prevented Torbjön Armor Packs Created statistic from updating if the ability landed directly on a friendly target
PC- the bug which caused a delay in selecting options on the wheel while cycling left
The bug which caused Brigitte’s Shield Bash movement to be interrupted when she impacted Symmetra’s turrets
The bug which allows D.Va to escape the map if she used call Mech while standing on Mei’s Ice Wall
The but which caused Dragonstrike Arrow size to be larger than his other arrows
The bug which causes Mei’s Cryo-freeze to block the line of sight for Mei’s Blizzard
The bug which allows Mercy to gain ultimate charge from using her damage beam on attacks that can’t be damage boosted
The bug which prevents Reaper’s Shadow Step from going on cooldown when interrupted
The bug which prevents Roadhog’s alternate fire now calculates falloff damage correctly
The bug which sometimes prevented Reinhardt’s Earthshatter from landing if he is launched into the air during its cast
The bug which prevents Sombra from destroying her Translocator if she is stunned or hacked
The bug which prevents Sombra’s Hack from canceling Symmetra’s Photon Barrier placement
The bug which causes Symmetra’s teleport UI to persist after elimination
The bug which causes Widowmaker’s scoped shots on hero placed objects to count against her Scoped Weapon Accuracy statistic
The bug which allows Wrecking Ball’s Piledriver to deal damage twice if he slid off the environment during its duration
The bug which allows Wrecking Ball’s primary fire to continue working if it is disabled in a custom game
The fans at Overwatch Festival have a chance to view the map today, the rest of us will enjoy it in just a few months.
This isn’t just about Twitch getting rid of their communities, this is also about feeling left out, once again, by this platform.
Communities on Twitch started off for Small Streamers to have a better rate of viewing. Or so like-minded people can share things with each other.
“Communities are a new discovery tool to help streamers connect to the most relevant audiences and help viewers discover streams that fit their interests easier and faster than ever.” -Twitch
I’d like to see the stats on which ethnicities use Twitch the most. Do People of Color or non POC use Twitch more? We know who is represented but, who uses the platform the most? I’m going to go with POC. In studies it shows, POC buy the most games & game consoles.
Once again POC are being screwed out of finding each other on this niche platform. We’d like to continue to grow communities like BGG, Thumbstick Mafia and The CookOut. POCs on Twitch are taking advantage of Communities because this can dwindle down on harassment.
It’s a huge relief to go to a streamers page and see communities like ours and @TheCookoutPoC and @Official_BGG and @BlkGmrsRev and many others tagged to the stream! That’s how you know it’s fam and shows that you’ve got hella communities that have your back 😞😔
Being in Black Girl Gamers you hear stuff like, “I want to stream or play online but (insert horrific online story here).” Bringing Black women together is a main part of BGG. Allowing them to feel safe during their hobby is another part. We want to continue to reach out to people any way we can; with Communities our reach became a bit further. Twitch says that Community usage is down 3%. A theory behind that is, we’re only allowed three communities. I picked the three communities which best suit me, BGG, Thumbstick Mafia & The Cookout. I choose these communities because people looking into these communities is the demographic I would like to reach. Once you find the community which suits you, why would you keep looking? I didn’t choose, Street Fighter, Tekken or Esports. I didn’t search for those first. Twitch is about you and not the game that you play – build it and they will come. It doesn’t matter what I play but, my audience does matter.
I feel like Twitch should have focused more on showing how the community tabs work as well as adding them to mobile before writing them off as an unsuccessful feature. I regularly use the community tabs to find and raid new streamers within my demographic who share the same-
After creating the BGG Community, we started to grow even more. There are people who don’t have Facebook so they couldn’t know about BGG Facebook group. Being on Twitch and being able to search; girl gamer, black girl, black content creator, black streams, women of color or any of those keywords made POC feel more welcoming on Twitch. For those people just joining the streaming culture and have no idea where to find support besides searching via Twitch’s search bar, how will our communities reach them? I understand the insertion of tags but, if Twitch is so great at identifying and unifying groups, we wouldn’t have had to make a video showing off the literal dark side of Twitch with streamers of color both men and women.
We can submit tags but which tags will get approved? Who at Twitch has the authority to say, ‘yes, this group is important so they will get a tag?’ And anyone can use the tags. These tags remind me of hashtags on Instagram. I can type in #NiggasBeLike on IG right now and find hundreds or thousands of people who shouldn’t be using that hashtag. It may be the same thing with tags. Anyone can tag themselves to get the views of that group. With all the people who make fun of Black people on Twitch, what’s going to stop them tagging themselves as #Black or something that identifies with our community? Will the Twitch staff be willing to regulate who gets to use which tag? What is stopping from these people using the tags to bait people of the community then berate them when we get there.
Another thing, it's being replaced with tags… Meaning that it won't be regulated.
Meaning that groups like @Official_BGG and @TheCookoutPoC won't be able to block invasive white people from taking up space in the tag like they did with the communities.
ALL MY TWITCH LIFE I HAD TO FIGHT! With tags, that fight may get more intense.
I get that Twitch is a primarily a gaming platform so making ways to filter our FPS from FGC is a good idea but, what about the people? We POC need to feel included and our voice heard. Trust me, if we keep feeling like we need to sit at the back of the bus we will create our own.
Luigi dead and this the last Smash game ever, thanks for reading my article!
No seriously, they didn’t give Luigi back his soul and this Super Smash Bros Ultimate reveals new characters.
Simon/ Richter – which are similar in fight styles but different animations.
Alucard – Dracula’s son is an Assist Trophy
Chrom – Echo fighter for
Dark Samus – Echo fighter for Sammus
Rathalos – The first character to appear as Assist Trophy & boss
King K. Roo
Dracula’s Castle with monsters from the Castlevania series. Hitting candlesticks gives you items
Flat Zone X
Garden of Hope
Unova Pokemon League
New Donk City Hall – we did it y’all; we have a black character in Smash – he’s just playing instruments.
With these new stages added there over 103 however, since you can choose battlefield or omega form for each stage this leaves over 300 stages to play on. And now you can transition in between stages during matches. With the old school stages, they kept the nostalgia but upgraded the experience, choose up two stages. There are over 900 songs, all the songs are derived from each title that is included in Smash.
The number of stages in Ultimate vs previous Smash games
The most impressive thing I’ve seen from Ultimate is its training stage. It shows you the range of attacks and how far characters fly from damage. This will be a game changer. Adding this stage shows me they are working to make this game more competitive. Sudden death is even a bit different, the camera zooms in and you start at 300% to create a sense of urgency. There is a tournament mode, choose the number of players and a bracket will be created. Tournament mode allows up to 32 players.
Squad Strike, 3v3 or 5v5. You can play with three players or play on a three-person team.
Smashdown, the previously selected fighters won’t be available after that round. So the more rounds you play, the smaller the selection of fighters get. The single-player mode is now called classic mode.
I think they’re going to put Goku is Smash and then you’ll know that it’s the last smash.
Masahiro Sakurai, director of Smash Ultimate, is sick of y’all!! Smash community, he’s done with you; he has to be! He said here is everyone, here is all the songs and stages you could ever want, please don’t @ me! What
A Little Bit of a Read
I really want is his take on the Smash community showing their behind at EVO. During the grand finals, players were throwing games and the audience were throwing things at the players because they didn’t like the characters they were playing with. This is unacceptable. Bear, who was present during this mini tantrum during the Super Smash Bros. Wii U Grand Finals reset said,
It was the first game of the GF reset. The players began by holding B, at 30 seconds in I pulled up the rules due to the fact that they were stalling. As soon as it passed 1.5 minutes I issued a yellow card for stalling and told them they got to play it out.
If I was Mr. Wizard himself, ain’t no Smash tourneys – that’s it. You don’t get to show your whole behind and still get an invitation!