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Wu-Tang Steps Into The Fortnite World With Authentic Representation

In 2018, the “Black Panther” had the world in a chokehold. Particularly for Black children, this was one of the first times they were able to see themselves on the big screen as a leading superhero. From the coveted Wakanda signal to the merch and apparel, children (and childlike people) everywhere were enamored by the glory of representation. As the world slowly progresses forward, there are clear examples of representation becoming more of the norm — for instance, in television shows (“Black-ish” and “The Wonder Years”) and video games like Fortnite.

Apr 25, 2022

Why The Next Young Kid Can Dream Big And Know Anything Is Possible, Thanks To PlayVS' Delane Parnell

When it comes to the game of life, being one step ahead is vital, especially for PlayVS founder, Delane Parnell. As a founder, Parnell has carved his own lane in the esports industry, taking others along with him every step of the way through PlayVS, “where amateur esports happens,” according to its website. The company has changed the lives of high school students by equipping them with opportunities to not only play the game but also by opening the doors to hundreds of scholarships across North America, in turn, acting as an entryway into professional gaming as a way of life. Now the Detroit native’s story is being told through “Ahead of the Game,” written by Kevin J. Ryan to spotlight the young entrepreneurs’ unique journey and shed light on the impact that his company has had on youth across America. Parnell joined AfroTech to discuss why he agreed to go through with the book despite not initially thinking it was time, his love for esports, and the power that hard work has to...

Mar 14, 2022

Naomi Osaka Becomes The First Female Athlete To Join Fortnite's Icon Series

Naomi Osaka is known for keeping us on our toes with how she dominates the tennis court. Combine that with all of her exciting partnerships, and it’s safe to say it’s hard to keep up. For her latest endeavor, the young icon has joined Fortnite’s Icon Series, Hypebae reports. Osaka’s announcement makes her the first female athlete to be on the video game’s series. “The Icon Series is the ultimate celebration of the most dynamic figures in culture for Fortnite ’s audience of millions, and there’s no one more perfect than Naomi Osaka to join the Series as the first female athlete,” Nate Nanzer, Global VP of Partnerships at Epic Games, said in a statement. Not only is Osaka making history, but she now joins fellow star athlete LeBron James and artists Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. “I’ve been playing Fortnite for a long time — when I saw LeBron had joined the Icon Series, it made me want to join the Fortnite family too. It’s really amazing to be able to connect with so many people...

Mar 3, 2022

Quavo And The Game Among The Very First Celebrities To Become Playable Characters On NBA 2K

Quavo and The Game are switching lanes. In statements released by both rappers, they revealed that they are now playable characters in NBA 2K22. “What’s happening? It’s Quavo. I am officially a playable character in 2k22. I’m very excited. Complete challenges to unlock my MyTEAM player card,” Quavo said on Instagram. View this post on Instagram A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) In addition, Ronnie Singh will also be joining Quavo and The Game as the first playable celebrities on NBA 2K. “Yooooo…. So check this. I’m the first celebrity along with @quavohuncho & @ronnie2k to be playable by fans. Put me on your squad along with the greatest players in NBA history in @NBA2K by completing spotlight challenges and earning my card,” The Game wrote on Twitter. https://twitter.com/thegame/status/1494014843279470597?s=20&t=F6sz7bdvhY22qxpnSBJe5g

Feb 18, 2022

Mike Tyson Admits 'Punch-Out!!' Was 'A Really Bad Deal' — So, How Much Did He Make?

For 1980s babies, “Punch-Out!!” on the Nintendo Entertainment System was a legendary game. But for Mike Tyson, it turned out to be nothing but a “bad” business deal. In 1983, Nintendo first released “Punch-Out!!” and ultimately obtained the rights to add Tyson’s name to the game in 1987 (which is when it became “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” and coincided with his rise in the boxing world). And needless to say, the game flew off the shelves the minute Iron Mike replaced Mr. Dream. “It broke all the records,” Tyson said to VladTV (via Atlanta BlackStar). “We anticipate them doing a new one too. They were discussing taking me out of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, and it was a hailstorm of negative reviews for that, and so we’re contemplating doing it with someone else, and no one can be angry, and then we can go our separate ways happy.” While the game certainly did do numbers, Mike Tyson claims he did not get paid appropriately. Atlanta Black Star reports “According to his Vlad TV...

There's Still Time To Enter The Rapidly-Growing eSports Industry, Here's How

It’s no secret that the eSports industry has been on a steady climb to the top these past several years. What began as small competitions between gamers has become a nearly billion-dollar industry. By 2022, the market is set to hit $1.79 billion, according to estimates from Newzoo. While most of the attention is on the games, teams, and growth of the industry, there are still other aspects of the eSports industry that entrepreneurs who are looking for an entry point to consider. 1. Sponsorship Streamers and Pro-Gaming teams need someone to pay for travel, entry fees, equipment, etc., in turn, they wear the company’s logo and build brand awareness. 2. Apparel Sports fans love to wear their favorite team’s logo, and eSports is no different. For example, Jinx.com — established in 1999 — was initially a place for hackers and geek-themed clothing, now it carries lines of clothing and apparel for gamers Anne Munition and Shroud . 3. Equipment Sites such as Newegg.com and BestBuy.com have...

Sep 19, 2019

Sony Will Automatically Change Your PSN Name If It's Offensive

Last week, Sony announced it would be rolling out a new feature that allows users to change their PSN name — the ID that follows you throughout the Playstation gaming world — freely and openly. It’s a big step for Sony, since Microsoft allowed XBOX users to do it for years. While gamers are very excited about the change (not being bogged down to one name while you’re owning people in Overwatch is very exciting), there’s one issue. T he new feature has the potential to stir up one of the gaming world’s oldest problems: hate speech and offensive language. Sony recognizes the problems that allowing people to change their PSN names more frequently could bring, and the company is trying to get ahead of it. A company blog post last week outlined that any PSN names using racial slurs, profanity, or any other offensive language that breaks Sony’s terms of service would be automatically changed to “TempXXX.” This punishment is actually light, considering that Playstation used to ban people...

Apr 15, 2019

A Popular Gaming Subreddit Shut Down On April Fools' Day To Protest Bigotry

On April Fools’ Day, r/Games announced it would shut down to shed light on bigotry in the online gaming community. With 1.7 million subscribers, the subreddit’s closure may have seemed like a joke. However, the moderating team laid out their decision to “take things a little more seriously and shed some light on a growing, pervasive issue that has affected the community.” The moderators wrote: Though certain memes (such as “gamers rise up”) surrounding gaming are largely viewed as a humorous interpretation of a mindset, at the core of the humor is a set of very serious issues that affect all gaming enthusiasts. By showing disdain or outright rejecting minority and marginalized communities, we become more insular. In this, we lose out on the chance to not only show compassion to these people, but also the chance to grow our own community and diversify the demographics of those involved in it. Whether it’s misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism or a host of other discriminatory...

Apr 2, 2019

Electronic Arts Announces It Will Lay Off 350 Employees

Electronic Arts, the California-based video game company best known for games like “Madden” and “Apex Legends,” recently announced it will lay off 350 employees. In a statement posted on the company’s website, Electronic Arts’ CEO Andrew Wilson said that the changes will affect the operations, marketing, and publishing teams. The company also plans to ramp down its presence in Japan and Russia. “These are important but very hard decisions, and we do not take them lightly,” Wilson wrote. “We are friends and colleagues at EA, we appreciate and value everyone’s contributions, and we are doing everything we can to ensure we are looking after our people to help them through this period to find their next opportunity.” EA is no small company.  It employs about 9,000 people and is one of the largest video game companies in the world. So, seeing restructuring at this level is a big deal. Wolf also stated that the company is “deeply focused on increasing quality in our games and services.”...

Mar 27, 2019

B'Bop and Friends Wants More Black Representation In Educational Gaming

The gaming industry has skyrocketed over the past decade and one mother-daughter duo want in on the multi-billion dollar industry. B’Bop and Friends, created by Grefonda Hardy and her daughter Noelle Hardy, is an educational video game that helps children with their reading and writing skills. Grefonda says she wanted black kids to be able to play the game and see themselves in the characters and their experiences. “I wanted it to be authentic,” Grefonda Hardy said. “I wanted the game to be from the African American perspective.” The game features two male and two female characters whom all have their own storylines. Each character has their own room where they can participate in games and activities that enhance players’ reading skills. B’Bop and Friends also has multiplayer games including tennis and basketball. “It was important for me to make the game for today’s child,” Grefonda Hardy said. An app developer by trade,  Grefonda Hardy designed B’Bop and Friends herself.  Since...

Dec 17, 2018

Video Game Workers In The U.K. Are Unionizing, Citing Long Hours And a Lack Diversity

For the first time ever, video game workers in the U.K. are getting the chance to unionize with the help of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB). “The game workers’ decision to unionize with the IWGB should be a wake-up call for the UK’s gaming industry,” IWGB General Secretary Jason Moyer-Lee said in a press release. As one of the fastest growing industries in the U.K., video games are taking a toll on employees who work long hours with unpaid overtime, commonly referred to as “crunching.” Workers have been reported to work as much as 100 hours a week in an effort to meet demand and deadlines for projects. The union is also targeting zero-hours contracts, which do not guarantee employees a minimum amount of hours to work each week. These use-as-needed contracts can negatively impact workers’ pay and are often used among quality assurance testers. “For as long as I can remember it has been considered normal for games workers to endure zero-hours contracts, excessive...

Dec 15, 2018