Melanin Gamers, a community that promotes diversity and inclusion in gaming, recently launched “The Watch,” a digital community watch designed to eliminate racism in the gaming community. Melanin Gamers and The Watch are appealing to developers like Activision Blizzard to create accountability in-game for players by improving the reporting mechanism for racist and toxic behavior. Both communities are angling to meet with these developers to discuss how to make much-needed changes. The Watch is also asking viewers on live-streaming platforms to capture videos of racist language they hear and send it to them.
“We created Melanin Gamers with the belief that video games are for everyone to enjoy,” said Annabel Ashalley-Anthony, Founder of Melanin Gamers. “Unfortunately, problematic gamers hurl endless verbal abuse towards people of color, like myself and my brothers. 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.”
Melanin Gamers has created a five-point checklist for game developers, to work towards anti-racism in-game. The checklist is as follows:
- Have (insert developer here) meet with Melanin Gamers to discuss the rampant racism in (insert game here) and discuss solutions for real change.
- Restore faith in the reporting system by providing transparent updates for each user report.
- Enforce appropriate punishments for racist in-game abuse.
- Engage with the BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) gamer community regularly to identify emerging issues and work together towards effective solutions.
- Increase accountability for game developers and create an obligation to share tangible goals, targets, and a roadmap to combat in-game racism.
(All information was provided by The Victoria Advocate)