Since the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, video games have come a long way. At the time, many considered video games a passing trend at worst, and a children’s toy at best. If you were to go back in time and tell the people of the 80s that video games would, in the coming century, become an integral part of popular culture, comparable to cinema, very few would believe it, and most would laugh. However, here we are.
The video game industry is worth over a billion dollars today, and games are selling like hotcakes. Competitive gaming, or eSports, is one of the fastest-growing “sports” in the 21st century. Millions of people flock to various streams and video game tournaments, watching their favorite players compete for the top prize. eSports competitions are rising in popularity, with online gaming sites like Novibet, now opening their doors to gaming tournaments.
However, for a long time, video games were designed with the sole purpose to appeal to the white, male, demographic. As society progresses, and we become more diverse, the video game industry is keeping up. The 21st century has seen quite a number of games with black protagonists, and in this article, we are going to take a look at some of them.
Aveline de Grandpré, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
The first woman of color assassin to be introduced in the popular Assassin’s Creed franchise, Aveline de Grandpre is one of the series’ standout characters. She operated in New Orleans in the late 1700s, fighting to free enslaved individuals, while carrying on a war against members of the Templar Order. Her addition to the gaming world was seen as a huge move forward in the representation of characters of color, and of women of color.
Eddy Gordo, Tekken Series
Going from horror to fighting, Eddy Gordo is a Brazilian black man, and one of the most popular characters in the Tekken franchise. His swift, seemingly sporadic moves make him a truly frightening opponent when playing against. The same moves serve as a powerful asset when he is under the player’s control. Eddy made his debut in Tekken 3 and has been a mainstay in the franchise since, though in a few games he is replaced by his protégé, Christie Monteiro.
CJ Johnson, GTA: San Andreas
Set in 1990s Los Angeles, GTA: San Andreas follows the story of CJ Johnson, a lieutenant of a Los Santos street gang, whose goal is to find the man who murdered his mother. Politically charged, and referencing some real-world events which shook up the world in the 90s, San Andreas remains one of the best installments in the Grand Theft Auto franchise to date.
James Heller, Prototype 2
Another revenge story, Prototype 2 casts the previous game’s protagonist, Alex Mercer, in a different light, portraying him as the villain. In his place, we have James Heller, a former sergeant who has been infected with the Blacklight virus by Mercer. The game sees Heller try to avenge himself, and put an end to Alex Mercer’s reign of terror.