How the Black Girl Gamers Team came to life

Jay-Ann Lopez knew he could have done better. He was in college, and two of his friends were promoting the show on YouTube with a game plan that was a lot worse, less. He used African American Vernacular English to convey refreshing ideas, to create humor that turned a woman into a fist, and often uttered only a few words. Seeing them gain popularity was frustrating. Lopez thought it was time to start his own career. Her products turned into a platform to connect black women around the world.

Born and raised in London, Lopez he started playing video games at the age of just six, having received his first console, Nintendo, from his uncle. He was attracted to them, but — as is the case with movies and TV shows — they often did not feel represented. “On screen, I have never seen black people. When I did, they were there to help comedic relief. It was a smart Black man or a Black woman who had a mental illness, a cruel black woman,” he recalls. “Growing up without [Black characters] in the games that I played, they made me feel that I did not belong to them. ” Lopez tried to find a place in the game with his YouTube channel, but eventually gave up. He was angry, derided, invisible — and there were many actors like him.

In October 2015, Lopez started Black Girl Players, a Twitch strategy that has become a safe haven for the internet and a platform to promote the visibility of black women in the game. BGG right now has a lot more than that 7,000 members in its Facebook group and 35,000 followers on Twitch. The team manages IRL events and develops online content to support game diversity. What started as a small Facebook page with four community managers has turned into a dedicated and growing Twitch platform with 184 team members. The board now offers events, interviews, mentors, coaching opportunities, and a talented organization to represent the directors. Recently, the group partnered with Facebook Reality Labs to provide members with a three-month mentorship program on commercials for real and virtual reality.

According to The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), is here almost 227 million players in the US. Most of these players are white (73 percent) and are known to be male (55 percent). For players who are not in those teams, playing is not easy. A 2020 study and Anti-Defamation League found that 64 percent of most online athletes in the US between the ages of 18 and 45 were abused in some way, and many were abused because of their race, ethnicity, ethnicity, religion, or profession. “Women and girls do not play in the same way as men and boys and not because of lack of interest or skill,” she says Rabindra (Robby) Ratan, an associate professor of media and information on Michigan State University. “While people tend to think that women and girls are less athletic as men and boys, when we see skills increase over time, women and girls do the same.” A study by Ratan, who looks great persecution in a sports culture, shows that women do not spend much time playing because of the dangers they face on the platform.

And it is not just a nuisance. Black female athletes also face what is known as the stereotype threat, which Ratan explains: “The idea is that when you are reminded of a stereotype that affects your team you can imitate the group as long as the memory is hidden.” to make more people give up professional careers or STEM divisions. Black female athletes also face two kinds of discrimination and hatred of men, while at the same time struggling with frustration in trying to deal with them. “When we started BGG, people always said, ‘Why? Do you need a black girls’ page? What if I could make it [one for] white male athletes? ‘”Lopez says. “I would have lost pounds every time someone said [that] I would be rich right now. ” As Black Girl Gamers grow, it also becomes apparent why they are so important.

When it started, BGG was one of the first Twitch to have a variety of views instead of just one person, a process that has been commonplace ever since. Having multiple streamers allows for multiple connections, and if one player does not have internet access, BGG uses it river team, a list of individual member accounts that give people the opportunity to learn more about BGG and connect with viewers who live on their own journey. Although Lopez is the founder of the organization, he is not comfortable with the way the community walks or the games that can be played. Elections are held in conjunction with members of the river team, and the right to vote goes unnoticed.

In 2018, at TwitchCon, a meeting of the Twitch streamers, “a white woman came to me. He told me, ‘I like what you do with BGG, but I realize you love to play violent games,’ ‘recalls Lopez. with music, Lopez understands that everyone has their own preferences in the games, but the assumption that there is a connection between race and the sport they love cannot be far from the truth. “Black women play all kinds of sports,” she says.

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