Diverse Games to Keep an Eye Out for in 2022

Hey there Blerdy Tribe, it’s a brand new year and there have been some huge strides within the gaming community. Indie games are becoming more prominent, with more mainstream sites covering them much more frequently than they have in the past. But, for me the most exciting is the shift towards more visibility for traditionally underrepresented groups in games! Don’t get me wrong, there is still a ways to go, but, I’m happy to see that there has been an effort to create more representative games and a lot of that has to do with a diverse creators stepping in to create games that reflect their own experiences, identities, and cultures.

As a Black gamer I am always on the look out for diverse games, so once again I did a call for games with planned 2022 release dates that feature characters and stories centered around often underrepresented groups–and as always the community provided!

Thank you to everyone who sent me their projects or shared the tweet–you guys are the real MVPs! So, I spent some time shifting through all the responses and checking out game pages for this post and y’all I am excited for all of these games! If you’re like me and you’ve been craving more diversity in your games, this is the list for YOU!

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Diverse Games to Keep an Eye Out for in 2021

Hey Blerdy Tribe! It’s a brand spankin’ new year and you know what that means… new game releases!! But, if you’ve been around for awhile you know that there is one thing that I look for in my games: REPRESENTATION! As a black female gamer, I am always on the look out for games created by and featuring characters of color and of course that sweet, sweet LGBTQIA rep! The gaming community is made up of all sorts of people, so don’t you think the games we play should be representative of the people that play them? Well, I do! And I’ve made it my mission here at Blerdy Otome to create a space where we celebrate diverse games and creators. Every Monday I spotlight one game that tell stories centering on characters of color or from the LGBTQIA community.

But, this week I wanted to shake things up a bit by not just spotlighting one game, rather I wanted to bring attention to several diverse games making their debut in 2021! However, I am just one person, so I did an open call on Twitter for diverse indie games set to be released in 2021… and boy did you guys come out in full force!!

The response was overwhelming! Thank you to everyone who sent me their projects or shared the tweet–you guys are the real MVPs! So, I spent a week going through all the responses and checking out game pages for this post and y’all I am excited for all of these games! If you’re like me and you’ve been craving more diversity in your games, this is the list for YOU!

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Melanin Friendly Otome Games & Visual Novels

I’ve written about the importance of representation in media quite a few times in the past, I even have a post series dedicated to talking about inclusion and diversity in nerd culture. Most recently, I wrote a post about diversity (or the lack there of) in otome games and after penning the post an indie developer friend of mine reached out to me about the topic. We had an awesome discussion about the depiction of people of color in visual novels and the importance of wholesome representation. She even gave me some insight into the difficulties some content creators have when crafting characters of color in their games, a perspective I hadn’t considered. I’ve seen quite a few polls and surveys floating around about the content of western otome games and visual novels, many of which have sections dedicated to gauging player interests in diverse characters.

I love that there is an open dialogue about diversity in games, especially in romance themed games since there is a noticeable disparity in the number of otome games that feature black and brown characters in major roles. However, I’ve heard through the grapevine that there are a handful of developers that have been saying that they don’t include darker skinned characters in their games because they “look bad” or aren’t as attractive as non black and brown characters. Some people have stated that it’s harder to create characters with darker complexions using the anime art style common in otome games… and hearing that is really heartbreaking. On some level, I feel like this is just a carryover of colorism, and the notion that dark skinned individuals are not as attractive as lighter skinned individuals (which is not the case at all). But, on other levels, it’s less an issue with darker characters looking bad and more a case of an artist needing more experience depicting characters of color.

There is a demand for more diverse games, heck, this past weekend someone used the search term ‘otome games black girl friendly’ to get to my site and I’m gonna be honest with you guys, it made my whole weekend! As more people start playing otome games (and romance visual novels) the demand for more inclusive characters and narratives will only rise and those who stay stuck in their ways are really limiting themselves. So, for the person that searched for black girl friendly otome games and for the folks that think “darker characters look bad” here are a few Melanin Friendly Otome Games and Visual Novels!!

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Melanin Monday: Black Folks Killin’ It in the Oscars

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and NPCs, out there it’s Monday, and that means another Melanin Monday post!! I know its been awhile since my last Melanin Monday post (I’ve been slacking off), but, for those of you just joining the party, here’s a little refresher. Melanin Monday is a bi-weekly post series that I started for Black History Month, where I talk about Black and Brown skinned characters in anime, manga, video games, etc., but you guys loved it so much I decided to continue it!

So, in this week’s Melanin Monday post, I wanted to talk about the Oscars… Yeah, I know, I’m not the only one talking about the Oscars, everybody is talking about the Oscars right now. But, after not one but two Black-led superhero films managed to not only snag quite a few Oscar nominations, but, also WIN awards… well, let’s just say that is grounds for celebration. But, that wasn’t all, the 2019 Oscars was a triumph for women and people of color as well, with films like Roma and BlackKklansman snagging quite a few awards last night.


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[Melanin Monday] So Is It Just Me or Did They Kill A Lot of Black Folks in Infinity War?!: A Rant

If you happened to stumble upon this post by accident, this will be the last spoiler warning before I start my rant… I will not apologize to anyone that knowingly reads beyond this point and gets spoiled for Infinity War, that’s on you boo.\

infinity war.jpg

So I joined droves of moviegoers in seeing one of the most anticipated superhero films to come out this year, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. Ten years of planning and 19 films have lead to this sort of final act in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved Infinity War, it had everything I could ask for in a superhero film: all the heroes (minus Hawkeye and AntMan, they got put on the bus for this one), action, suspense, witty banter, and one of the biggest emotional sucker punches so far this year. It was an almost perfect film and I applaud Marvel (read: Disney) for pulling it off, if you’d asked me back in 2004 if I thought Marvel would have the monopoly on superhero films, I’d have probably laughed in your face and bopped you on the head with my homemade wand and pulled off on the Hogwarts Express back to Harry Potter-ville.

*** Infinity War Spoilers***

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Melanin Monday: Why We Need Quality Representation- A Short Rant

Hey Hey Heroes, Travelers, and Wandering NPCs, it’s Black History Month once again and with it comes the revival of Melanin Monday, the post series where I talk about the representation of Black and brown characters in pop culture. While I mainly focus on the nerdier side of the pop culture spectrum, from time to time I will cover more personal posts about my experiences as a Black nerd.

This started as part of Black History Month 2017, but you guys liked it so much that I decided to keep it going, albeit rather sporadically. However, for the month of February I will try to post one of these every Monday.

This week I didn’t really have anything planned since this post coincides with my OWLS Blog Tour post, and I am notorious for waiting until the last minute to do anything… So rather than focus on a particular form of media, I’m just going to talk about the importance of representation in general… as a rant.

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