Racism spans across all industries, but when it comes to the virtual world, people are getting clever with the various ways in which they use their online presence to taunt others.
The gaming industry specifically has been known to be a place where Black people and other creators of color have been targeted. More recently, the world witnessed how the gunman in the Buffalo mass shooting used the Twitch platform to outline and even stream his heinous attack on Black people who were grocery shopping in May.
Now, Melanin Gamers and The Watch are calling on major video game developers to hold people accountable for their racist actions.
“We created Melanin Gamers with the belief that video games are for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately, problematic gamers hurl endless verbal abuse towards people of colour, like myself and my brothers,” said Annabel Ashalley-Anthony, Founder of Melanin Gamers. “The goal of The Watch is to raise awareness about the racism that occurs in online multiplayer games and call on our allies to help make meaningful change for generations of gamers to come.”
Not only has The Watch partnered with game creators, they have also joined forces with Twitch to have viewers use the built-in clip function in order to capture any incidents of racist language that is overheard during their streams. The overall goal is to show developers like Activision Blizzard, just how common racism is in games like the Call of Duty.
The overall initiative began as a call-to-action after various gamers have vocalized their own experiences with racism in the gaming industry.
“I experienced my first instance of racism in-game when I was 14 or 15 years old while playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,” said Alan Ashalley-Anthony, and Chief Researcher at Melanin Gamers. “There are millions of Black players across hundreds of video games, yet somehow harassment towards Black and BIPOC communities is so widespread.”
For more information on how to join The Watch click here.