Afros N Superpowers: DC Universe Online
Ill be the first to admit that I love a good superhero battle. And to be able to play a game where I can design my own, kick ass, and save the world? Even better. I had been skeptical of playing DC Universe Online because I love Marvel and DC movies have been kind of disappointing in the past. This past weekend, I decided to give it a go! The result? I fell in love with it! I am a huge fan of open-world games, so DC Universe online is right up a my alley. From exploring the city with the ability to fly or run really fast to earning new armor through completing missions and kicking ass, I am truly enjoying this game!
Now of course there is always some BS included when you find a new game you enjoy. In this case, its not particularly the game itself, but the interactions I've had with other online players. As a Black woman who is also a serious gamer, it is hella important to me to be able to play with characters that look like me. So I was excited when I got to create my first two characters with brown skin, locs, and a beautiful afro! Although its not a game with a Black female lead, I was happy to have a better variety of options as far as hairstyles and skin tones! Thus I created two characters, both appearing to be Black women, and ready to take on whatever enemies were thrown at me (both in-game and online).
Queen Asilii (Ah-see-lee)
Queen Asilii is a beautiful Black woman with the power of nature and the ability to fly. With her long brown locs, she has the ability to use the elements of nature to defeat her enemies through her hands. She is also a natural healer, with the ability to heal herself and her allies that are fighting with her during combat. I named her Asilii (Asili) because it means nature in Swahili. Thus making it "Queen Nature" or The Queen of Nature. I added the extra "i" at the end because my name ends in two i's ;-)
Haraka Flames is a BAD ass sistah with the power of fire, super speed as her movement, and martial arts as her weapon! She is without a doubt, a force to be reckoned with. She is my favorite character play with. With her thick and beautiful afro and Bruce Lee combat speed, she has the ability to use fire and martial arts to plunge through multiple enemies at once, dealing a great deal of damage in a short of amount of time. I named her Haraka because it means "Fast" in Swahili, making her name "Fast Flames".
(Why Swahili you ask? I was inspired by a play I saw when I took a trip to South Africa last May called "KIU" that was completely in Swahili!)
Moving on, the interactions that I have with people online when I play with each character are interesting and disturbing at the same time. Although I can't say that Im surprised. When I am playing with HarakaFlames, I noticed that other one players tend to troll more me by following me around, almost blocking my way, shooting at me with weapons, and also challenging me in random fights. When I play with Queen Asilii? Rarely ever happens. Whats interesting is that you can clearly see the color of Queen Asilii's skin, obviously as identifying her as a brown skin Black woman. Haraka doesn't have human skin and is shown as red, but her afro is what clearly identifies her as a Black Woman. Now this is not to say that people don't troll my other character, but that the level of trolling is very different.
I hope that this post contributes to the many others that shed light on the online harassment that many Black Women gamers (and characters) face. All the more need for more diverse representation in video games, especially games with Black female leads.
Thank you for reading!
HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!!!