The NYU Game Center faculty and staff stand with our students, our alumni and our wider community in affirming without reservation that Black Lives Matter.
Justice must be served for Tony McDade, for George Floyd, for Breonna Taylor, for Ahmaud Arbery, for Philando Castile, for Sandra Bland, for Tamir Rice, for Michael Brown, for Eric Garner, for Trayvon Martin and for countless other Black people whose murders have mobilized protests across New York City, the country, and the world.
The murders of Black people by police are not simply isolated incidents, but part of a structure of racist oppression that affects Black lives in every sphere, from housing and education to employment and media representation. In this moment, words alone are not a sufficient response.
For decades, the game industry has profited from Black players, from virtual replications of the bodies and faces of Black performers and athletes, from problematic representations of Black culture and experience, and even from dance moves by Black artists, repurposed as in-game emotes. Black game developers make up only 2% of the game industry, while they comprise 13.4% of the U.S. population. The voices of Black artists creating games must be supported, elevated, and celebrated. Similarly, we must prevent racist ideology from finding a home in games and in game communities.
As an academic institution that prepares students for a career in the game industry, the NYU Game Center has a responsibility to work towards these causes and redress imbalances. We know we must do more to support our students of color – in particular our Black students – and that we must endeavour to empower all of our students as informed allies.
Systemic change requires real work, real soul-searching, and real discomfort, and we have more work to do. The NYU Game Center must redouble our efforts to recognize, support and celebrate the work of Black students; discuss racial justice and representation in our classes; and sponsor and participate in events and community gatherings by and for developers of color. We need to provide substantially more financial support and scholarships for Black students. And finally, we know we must employ more Black faculty and staff.
We ask all non-Black members of our community to educate yourselves and your non-Black peers on the very real historical precedents which led us to where we are now. Black history is happening right now, in this moment.
Donate to bail funds for protestors (https://www.communityjusticeexchange.org/nbfn-directory).
Support the work of your Black peers in games (http://www.blackgamedevs.com/).
Support and attend local events such as Game Developers of Color Expo (https://gamedevsofcolorexpo.com/).
Protest in all the ways that you are able.
Support and amplify Black voices.
– The faculty and staff of the NYU Game Center.