The video game industry severely lacks melanin, and Xbox wants to help rectify that issue with its latest initiative called Project Amplify.
Right on time for HBCU Week, Xbox announced Project Amplify. The company describes it as “a video series that aims to magnify Black voices within Xbox to inspire, educate and motivate youth across the U.S. to aspire towards careers in the gaming industry through real-life storytelling from Black leaders and employees across the Xbox ecosystem.”
Project Amplify will highlight fourteen Black employees from across Xbox who will share insight on their roles in the company and experiences while working in the video game industry. At the same time, it will teach Black and Brown youth about the bevy of roles in the gaming industry and shine a light on Black people working in these roles.
Right now, you can head to the [email protected] Youtube page and see videos from these 14 individuals talking about how they got into the video game industry, their favorite gaming moments, and gaming industry advice. Those names include:
- Jean-Emile Elien | Partner Software Architect at Xbox
- Clay Carmouche | Narrative Director at Xbox Publishing
- Marcus Morgan | Head of Strategy and Operations at Obsidian Entertainment
- Sarah Bond | Head Of Ecosystem at Xbox
- Pierre Hintze | Head of Production for Halo Infinite
- Q Muhaimin | Program Manager at Xbox
- Portia Botchway | Xbox Researcher
- Aaliyah Burroughs | Program Manager at xCloud
- James Lewis | Senior Business Development Manager at Xbox
- Cierra McDonald | Principal Program Manager Lead at Xbox
- Art Usher | Senior Game Designer at Minecraft
- Nayomi Mitchell | Software Engineer for Xbox App
- Kim Williams-Osborne | Director of Licensing at Turn 10 Studios
- Jason Minters | Lead Character Tech Artist at 343 Industries
Xbox Is On The Right Path With Project Amplify
A recent survey from HBCU Connect, commissioned by Microsoft, revealed that of the 200 people who took part in it, “95% of college students and alumni from HBCUs across the country” expressed interest in getting a job in the gaming industry. 34% of the respondents would like to work in Program Management roles. 24% are interested in Engineering roles, and 18% want gaming development roles.
Gaming is one of the leading forms of entertainment, which was made clear during the global pandemic. While Black gamers make up a large number of the gaming community, only 2% of professionals in the video game industry are Black, compared with 13% of the population.
So Xbox has a lot of work to do, but Project Amplify is a great start to fix one of the video game industry’s most significant issues. This helps more than certain rappers telling young Black teens that gaming is a waste of time. Looking at you, Tory Lanez.
For more information on Project Amplify, head here.
Photo: Microsoft / Xbox Project Amplify