[VIDEOGAMES] Black Characters, the Representation in Videogames

Happy Black History Month!

And although it ought to be celebrated everyday, every month, all the time, it’s important now more than ever to emphasize black representation in all aspects.  With a history of stereotype and , let’s celebrate how far we’ve come.  And let’s point out this journey of black representation in videogame characters.

As a black person myself, I know how important it is to find yourself in books, comics, movies, TV shows, videogames, history, etc.  in a way that you can relate to and appreciate and as someone who adds value to a narrative.  When it comes to the videogame industry, black people may not always be well represented, and I can’t claim that all of these characters are worth the endorsement, but all exposure is worth noting (whether to critique or to praise or to relate).

So, here’s some black, playable characters (followed by some NPCs) to show us that as the industry grows, black people will continue to gain visibility.

 

Nillin Cartier-Wells from Remember Me

 

…My name is Nilin Cartier-Wells. I am a memory hunter. I can know everything about you. And I can make you believe whatever I want. This is my gift. My legacy. – Nillin

rather sarcastic, capable and versatile martial artist, rebellious and tends to talk back, an experienced climber (source)

Lee Everett from Telltale’s The Walking Dead

leeeverett

That little girl’s in my care! We’ve been through more together than you can imagine. Anyone who tries to get between me and her – ANYONE! – is gonna wind up dead! You hear me?! – Lee

smart, independent, resourceful, reasonable, generally kind, easily agitated, overprotective, compassionate and selfless (source)

Clementine from Telltale’s The Walking Dead (Season 2)

clementine

I’m still. Not. Bitten. – Clementine

Reserved, shy, quiet, imaginative, incredibly, resourceful, hopeful, doesn’t get scared but will clam up if nervous, quite outspoken when she wants to be, caring and compassionate (source)

Matt from Until Dawn (2015)

 

There’s more to this guy than just bein’ a lean, mean, luggage lifting machine.- Matt

got a big heart, kind of a meat head, fiercely loyal, knows when to stay out of the way of situations, motivated, ambitious and athletic, even described as the good guy of the group (source)

 

Aveline de Grandpre from Assassin’s Creed III & IV

Though I may conceal my identity, one thing is certain: commit injustice in this world, and I’ll send you to the next. – Aveline

has learned to hide in plain sight, the Assassin, the Slave and the Lady, a Charm mechanic  (source)

Jacob Taylor from the iPhone game Mass Effect: Galaxy

 

 

Give him all the time in the galaxy. The man who did this doesn’t know right from wrong.- Taylor

highly experienced fighter, loyalty, calm and collected voice of reason, may have been romantically involved (source)

Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil 5

Don’t worry. I may not be as big as you, but I can still hold my own. – Alomar

extremely loyal, versatile fighter with extensive experience, follows her instincts (source)

Jacqueline Sonya “Jacqui” Briggs from Mortal Kombat X

No more tricks; just a straight-up beatdown. – Briggs

very protective of her family, but is easily annoyed whenever her father’s history of being Quan Chi’s slave is brought up, very serious and supports Cassie’s leadership (source)

Laura Matsuda from Streetfighter V

Boom! That’s how you start a fight and finish it quickly! – Laura

free spirited and energetic personality and enjoys thrills, has a desire to promote her family’s fighting style, likes to give advice to others,  very easy to befriend (source)

Holly Tanaka from Halo 5: Guardians

[We’re taking the long way down] Because it’s polite. Grew up on an indie colony like Meridian. Folks out here don’t take kindly to the UNSC landing in the middle of town. Tend to see it as an act of aggression. – Tanaka

quiet, self-reliant, unfazeable, skilled, dependable, and loyal member of their less-than-ideal society, lack of interest in socializing and inability to connect with others, deeply skilled with technology (source)

Jameson Locke from Halo 5: Guardians

I’m not so much hunting a Spartan as I am hunting the Spartan. – Locke

competent, approaches combat situations with caution and logic and inspires loyalty in those under his command (source)

Adéwalé from Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag: DLC Freedom Cry

Save your singing for Davy Jones, you jagabats. – Adéwalé

quiet confidence merged with his imposing figure to cast a long shadow over the charismatic cast of Black Flag, ability to communicate – with pirates, with Assassins, with the enslaved and disenfranchised, a warm, earthy quality to his voice (source)

Barrett Wallace from Final Fantasy 7

barrettwallace.gif

You can’t give up now! There ain’t no gettin’ off of this train we on! – Barrett Wallace

brash and sometimes violent attitude, a good heart, brash, gruff, short temper and a tendency to curse, describes life with train metaphors (source)

Sazh Katzroy from Final Fantasy 13

 

Just as I was getting used to things… – Katzroy

friendly, cheerful, quick to banter, keeps a mature perspective on matters, youthful, carefree, and lively, forgiving,  goodhearted, hopeful, selflessness, strong will of justice and is always willing to help his teammates (source)


 Honorable Mentions / Non-Playable Characters

 

rileylastofus

Riley from The Last of Us (2013) // Lucius Fox from Warner Bros. Games Montréal Batman Franchise // Daisy Fitzroy from Bioshock Infinite (2013) // Dimah Ali Umar al-Masri from Just Cause 3 (2015) // Spike from Dying Light (2015) // Dr Zere from Dying Light (2015)

 

Madame Vivienne de Fer from Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) // Steve Cortez from Mass Effect 3 // Preston Garvey from Fallout 4 // Admiral David Anderson from Mass Effect // Achilles Davenport from Assassin’s Creed // Jolee Bindo from Knights of the Old Republic

 

Raina Temple from Star Wars: The Old Republic // Andronikos Revel from Star Wars: The Old Republic // Felix Iresso from Star Wars: The Old Republic // Koth Vortena from Star Wars: The Old Republic

 

Dynaheir from Baldur’s Gate // Valygar Corthala from Baldur’s Gate II // Hexxat from Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition // Star Paladin Cross from Fallout 3 // Ikora Rey from Destiny

 

CREDITS

Much thanks to tumblr user why-i-need-diverse-games and all those who re-posted this with characters!

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