Black History Month 2021 | Celebrating Black Excellence in Gaming
Celebrating Black Excellence
Black History Month is upon us after one of the hardest years many of us have ever experienced. COVID-19, a nasty election, and the continued moments of police brutality that led to Black Lives Matter marches all over the world.
It was a hard year and while we continue to donate, march, educate, and grow, we must also celebrate the victories. This year, for Black History Month, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate Black Excellence in the gaming community!
RISING SUN & ERIC M. LANG
Eric M. Lang graces our Black History Month blog year after year as one of the most prolific game designers in the industry! He has worked with WizKids, Fantasy Flight Games, and is now Director of Game Design at Cool Mini or Not. An award-winning designer, Lang’s experience spans beloved properties such as Star Wars and Game of Thrones, to original works such as Victorian Masterminds and Rising Sun.
Here at the start of a new year, we face our own Rising Sun. Lang’s game follows political players in a legendary feudal Japan, promising greatness to those who seek it. Rising Sun features gorgeous components and art, forming alliances while staying true to your own goals, and aspirations of greatness.
CYBERPUNK UNIVERSE & MIKE PONDSMITH
Mike Pondsmith and his world of Cyberpunk is a triumph story if there ever was one. Few roleplay game designers ever see half the success Pondsmith has found with Cyberpunk, and the insatiable desire for more of this dystopian world has only increased over the years. Cyberpunk 2077, inspired by its tabletop namesake, was one of the most highly anticipated video game releases in years and is so far the biggest digital launch of a game, ever.
Cyberpunk Red, the newest tabletop release, has multiple ways to create a character with whom you will explore this gritty, neon world. Cyberpunk, however, isn’t meant to just make the player feel like an invincible badass but to ask questions about society, to encourage your hero to rise above their circumstances.
“It can not be about saving the world. You’re saving yourself or your community... You can’t just say, ‘The world is craptastic and you can’t do anything about it.’ No. You don’t have to save the world, but you need to be able to save your mother or the apartment you and your friends live in. You need to make sure your neighborhood isn’t rolled over by the boostergangs.” -Mike Pondsmith on Cyberpunk, source
Cyberpunk may seem futuristic but its message is timeless. Don’t accept the way things are, fight the system, and rise above together.
HIP HOP BID TO WIN & BLACK MUSICIANS
“Hip-hop is a family, so everybody has got to pitch in. East, west, north, or south — we come from one coast and that coast was Africa. “ -DJ Herc, source
Music reaches us where other words cannot. In the 1970s and 80s as hip hop formed into a dominating force of lyricism and poetry, it also shined a light on the systemic racism the black community has always lived with, raising a voice loud enough to rally against injustice.
“To me, hip-hop says, “Come as you are.” We are a family…. I think hip-hop has bridged the culture gap. It brings white kids together with Black kids, brown kids with yellow kids. They all have something in common that they love. It gets past the stereotypes and people hating each other because of those stereotypes.”
Celebrate Black Excellence, learn, and listen!
Later this month, we’ll take some of this year’s Black History Month themes of Identity and Diversity to explore how knowing Who We Are and How We’re Different can increase the love we share in this world.