Gaming has evolved rapidly over the years — from the number of people entering the virtual space to the careers that have been created. Outsiders looking in are really beginning to see how impactful game streaming can be, but Michael Reynolds — also known as The Fierce Diva — has always known its potential.
Starting from his childhood, the longtime gamer has watched firsthand how much the public’s outlook on culture has shifted. People are catching up to the movement and it has led to companies like Facebook creating more space for gamers to excel, especially the underrepresented voices.
Facebook's Black Gaming Creator Program
As previously shared by AfroTech, Meta’s Facebook created its Black Gaming Creator Program — which launched in 2020 with a commitment of $10 million for the community. Reynolds was a participant in its first year and he has gone on to be a leader by working on initiatives such as raising money for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and an upcoming activation for Juneteenth.
Reynolds credits Facebook’s program for being a step forward in the right direction for more talented, diverse creators in the community to be highlighted. Additionally, it’s a safe community in a time when the Black and LGBTQ communities — of which he is a part — face hate speech.
“I still don’t fully know where I fit and luckily Facebook’s Black Gaming Creator Program is there because they’ve listened to the ideas that I had to bring more eyes to [such as] the creators that would typically go unnoticed,” Reynolds told AfroTech.
Mental Health Advocacy
What’s more, as a leader in the space, Reynolds avidly uses his platform to help his followers prioritize their well-being. Mental Health Awareness is more than just a month to him as he has covered the costs of his followers’ mental health therapy. While gaming is a form of therapy for many, he advocates for people to seek professional therapy as it’s helped him in his own journey.
“You need to have tangible tools to impact your mental health. I wanted to provide something that walked in tandem with my advocating for it,” Reynolds said. “And then, if there is something that you’re dealing with, let’s have a conversation about that, and let’s actually get you some help.”
Creating An Esports Organization
Reynolds is all about supporting his community in West Virginia. The next item on his agenda aims to start his local high school’s first esports team. From there, he hopes to then expand it.