Black Game Makers

A forthcoming reference book on games of the African diaspora

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Your Work

The Book of Black Game Makers aims to create an encyclopedic and archival record of the work of the game designs from the African diaspora. Whether card game or video game, commercial or academic, the project aims to collect the work in a single volume for reference. The book will be published by Carnegie Mellon University's ETC Press with support from the Higher Education Video Game Alliance

The deadlines for all submission have now passed. You may email the editor, Lindsay Grace at University of Miami if you have questions or would like to submit work for consideration.

Deadlines

  • Games Due: MARCH 15, 2021
  • Writing Due: MARCH 15, 2021 (research proposals), March 30, 2021 (stories)
University of Miami Interactive Media
University of Miami Interactive Media

The project

The book is an edited archive of games made by people of the African diaspora. It aims to provide a foundation from which designers, developers, game historians and others can draw an understanding of patterns, present practice and a potential afro-future. Its aim is to make more visible, through aggregation and showcase, the contributions of African Americans, African nationals and other diaspora members. It is an effort to meet the need to diversify the game-making community by not only highlighting the work of black people, but in creating an enduring archive of such work. In short, it is an effort to document the game design and development work of black people.

This collection serves as a one stop archive for the contributions of community more likely than any other racial group to identify as gamers (Grace et al, 2018), yet are less than 2% of its production community (Weststar et al, 2019). Pew research found that among youth, African-Americans are the most likely to play video games, at 83%, exceeding both white (71%) and Hispanic (69%) children (Lenhert, 2015). More than a collection of games that focus on blackness, it is a collection of work that is made by those who belong to the black community.

The book will serve as a kind of exhibition in book form, offering an online and print snapshot of the contemporary state of black game making. It will draw from the wide array of work produced by makers of African descent. The book will be organized in three primary sections based on the primary experience of the work showcased. These will be primarily analog, digital and a third category for work that does not fit such categorizations clearly (e.g. alternative reality games, mixed medium games, etc.). Depending on collected submissions, a fourth section that highlights games that focus on the black experience, African diaspora or are otherwise supportive of the community may be included.

A free, creative commons version of the book will be available upon publication to support wide access

References:

  • Grace, Cheryl, Andrew McCaskill, and Mia K. Scott-Aime. "From consumers to creators: The digital lives of Black consumers." The Nielsen Company (2018). https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/report/2018/from-consumers-to-creators/
  • Lenhart, Amanda. "Chapter 3: Video games are key elements in friendships for many boys." Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech 6 (2015). https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2015/08/06/chapter-3-video-games-are-key-elements-in-friendships-for-many-boys/
  • Weststar, Johanna, Eva Kwan and Shruti Kumar, International Game Developer’s Association Developer Satisfaction Survey (2019) https://s3-us-east-2.amazonaws.com/igda-website/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/29093706/IGDA-DSS-2019_Summary-Report_Nov-20-2019.pdf

People

Lindsay Grace

Lead Editor, Author

Knight Chair Interactive Media, University of Miami and Vice President, Higher Education Video Game Aliance (HEVGA)

Aaron Trammell

Contributor

Assistant Professor of Informatics, University of California-Irvine

Boris Willis

Contributor

Associate Professor of Experimental Game Design at George Mason University and Founder, Black Russian Games

Allen Turner

Contributor

Professional Lecturer, DePaul University, Founder/Creative Director of DePaul Originals Game Studio and Owner/Designer of Council of Fools LLC

University of Miami Interactive Media