Representation Matters in Video Games: Thinkpiece by Geoffery Pinkney
Representation Matters in Video Games
Ever since the dawn of time, humans have wanted many things. Wealth, power, success, free will, and the feeling that the inevitable is achievable. Another thing we can add to that list is representation.
In a world where larger-than-life people are put on our TV screens, we love nothing more than to feel like we can go to bed and dream of a world where we are them.
We take pride in having the same problems as a man who’s faster than a speeding bullet. So, when we see a genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist struggle with anxiety and the fact that he can’t have peace until those he loves do, we smile.
But, a boy with the powers of a spider fumbling the girl next door who’s had a crush on him since he showed her that she genuinely mattered? Priceless.
Video games showcase this more than theatre and tv screens because their world is virtual, and the impossible can quickly become possible with minimal to no effort.
Representation has come a long way, with us seeing a little yellow Pac-Man, a plumber saving a princess, to a Black/Hispanic Spider-Man jumping off the ledge of a building and into a city filled with danger.
This outlook can give us all an entirely different high, and with the help of streaming sites such as Twitch, it’s only going to get more and more popular.
This contagious thing is representation, and we cannot get enough of it. It drives our fandom and what leads to the making of more and more shows that we compare to the ones before it.
Representation is the gift that keeps on giving, and where there’s no danger of it disappearing, there are things you can do to add to its flame.
The first thing is: you have to live. Representation is often rooted in experience; you get experience by living out your life to its full potential. You do this by finding out dreams can come true and doing what makes you happy. Asking that girl out that you know likes you back; that’s living!
The second thing is: keeping it real. This one mainly goes out to the artists and those who wish to directly contribute to representation. It’s easy for us to want to pay tribute to our work, but it’s a problem when it feels false. We must remember to always add our truths in our work because, ultimately, someone else’s truth is what started us on this path.
And the final thing is a pretty easy one. You need to believe in yourself. At the end of the day, all these things are impossible if you don’t believe in yourself.
This will require a ton of faith because there will be days when you don’t believe in yourself. Life will kick you and continue to kick you even when you’re down, and you’re gonna feel hopeless but don’t give up the faith.
Keep the faith, my friends; you can gain the whole world without losing your soul. You can achieve everything you want and much more if you believe in yourself. You do this, and you will ding not only yourself being happy but the world around you doing a complete 180.
You can be the reason Superman fights for truth and freedom even when the odds are stacked heavily against him. You can be why a billionaire decides that though he can’t put a suit of armor everywhere, he can put one around his world.
You can be why a boy with the powers of a spider gains the courage to keep going no matter how many steps he gets knocked back.
You do this, and you, too, can keep the gift of representation alive and pass it down to the future, where it can only grow more and more branches and affect more and more minds.