Portal to Pyro

Black Character Hair Options In Video Games Are Still Abysmal! Game Developers Need To Start Stepping Up Their Game!

One of my biggest annoyances when it comes to character creation sections in games is the lack of hair options for Afrocentric people. Look, it’s great that they finally added  detailed skin tone variations, but that really does me or people like me any good when I’m forced to either go with the Afro, thick dreads or buzz cuts IF I wanted to created an authentic Black character. And what’s puzzling to me is why that’s always been largely ignored. At first I thought, “huh, maybe our hair just ain’t that easy to model or animate”, then I’d take one look at ANY of the 2K NBA games and realize that’s bullshit.

Let me say that games like Monster Hunter World, Guild Wars 2 and Daemon X Machina are some of the few games that have offered decent amount of hair style options for Afrocentric folks, but the truth of the matter is, this area in gaming is lacking severely. It’s something really frustrating to browse by 10 to 20 different hairstyles for Eurocentric and Asian-centric hairstyle, and only find three of the most generic Afrocentric hairstyles on the planet. Am I saying that Black people don’t have these hairstyles, no. However, walk into ANY, and I mean ANY BLACK OWNED barbershops, and you’ll soon come to realize that we got variation for days.

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From Temple Fade with Sponge Twists and Frohawks to Box Fades and 360 Waves, we got plenty to spare. And it would only take someone who really wants to offer the best customization option in their games to just google it and learn. Or even better, walk into your local black-owned barbershop/saloon and just ask.

Astral Chains made me realize that we’re in 2019, and the options for Afrocentric hairstyles in games is abysmal. Like I said, if we can create amazing games like Witcher 3, Death Stranding & Cyberpunk 2077, create monstrosity like MHW’S Rathalos & Nioh’s Great Centipede to such great details, then I don’t wanna hear people say “making Afrocentric hairs is difficult“, because judging from the feats people have accomplished in gaming, it’s not!

That’s my thought on this matter, let me know what you think?

 

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5 replies »

  1. The lack of hairstyles is one of those things that personally I don’t stress about but it’s annoying as hell. I want more Afrocentric hairstyles in games but I hope devs don’t go overboard with it and throw like a style that’s really modern in a game set in the past or in a old fantasy setting. Honestly, I feel like the devs might feel like “there aren’t enough black gamers for them to throw it in there”. It’s a lame excuse but games like 2K probably have more of us playing it than arguably anything else. Then again it’s based on the NBA and most of the players have the hairstyles that players can use.

    • Yeah, I get you! However, it really comes down to them taking the time to just learn. We hear how they travel to different countries sometimes to gain the experience needed to make whatever games they want, so for fantasy games based in the past, opening up a history book wouldn’t kill them or meeting some locals can’t hurt either (if they wanted to). I’m like you, I ain’t stressing most of the time, but every time I do play a game that claims to have “deep customization”, it annoys me when I see this lack of options to this day.

      • Tbh, I just feel like the devs are too lazy at times. Even with them going to different countries I feel like they half-ass it. The whole deep customization thing ain’t nothing more than marketing buzzword for most games, however, it is annoying as hell that they don’t even take the time to make it. Hell, I’d accept it being an after release add-on in a game.

  2. I’d say it’s lack of knowledge. Many developers don’t realize how many Black hairstyles there are because all they know is Black people from media.

    It’s a symptom of a larger problem which is a need for diversity in all forms of media. This would be less of a problem if more people of color worked in the video game industry.

    Btw, I feel the same way about Black comic book males being bald. That’s the go-to style for so many I roll my eyes every time I see it.

    • Yeah, that lack of knowledge is partly to blame too. Man, I can’t tell you how I’m fed up with the bald/ shaved head Black comic hero. Yes, a lot of us tend to rock that look that’s like 25% of us lol

      We need more people of colour stepping up to help them out (as long as they have the qualification of course) and show them that variation

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