Xbox, like many other companies, is actively celebrating Black History Month. In a recent article, Xbox highlighted various ways in which they are recognizing and amplifying the contributions of Black creators within the gaming industry. The company has also outlined new initiatives, including a partnership with Gameheads to showcase games created by Black developers and an exploration of a diverse selection of games curated by Black communities at Microsoft.
During this Black History Month, Xbox emphasizes the importance of increased representation in gaming. It worth mentioning that two Black women in high-level positions at Xbox: Dametra Johnson-Marletti, Corporate Vice President, Gaming Consumer Sales, and Sarah Bond, President of Xbox. This move is commendable as it goes beyond mere discussion of diversity and inclusion during Black History Month, actively placing Black individuals in positions of power to drive real change within the company.
However, despite these positive steps, the post on both Facebook (Which has 530 Laugh Reacts) and Twitter has encountered evident racism and bigotry from some members of the gaming community. A significant portion of the comments reflects sentiments suggesting that the focus should be on creating good games rather than engaging in what is perceived as “Woke” propaganda or pandering. While the quality of Xbox games is a valid point of discussion, the primary focus here is the significance of having diverse voices and creators in the gaming industry.
It is crucial to recognize that fostering diversity within the industry is a net positive. Despite criticisms, having individuals from varied backgrounds contributes to a richer pool of talent, ensuring that new ideas and concepts can be developed and brought to fruition. While many companies engage in performative actions during Black History Month, Xbox stands out for its tangible commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion by appointing Black women to leadership roles. This example sets a precedent that other companies can hopefully learn from and emulate in their own efforts toward inclusivity.