It has long been argued that fiction has the power to shape the world around it. What we see on our TVs and computer screens, along with the characters we inhabit when we open the pages of a book, can influence the way we view ourselves and those we come into contact with throughout the course of our daily lives.
This argument is why minority groups so often encourage content creators to feature protagonists who belong to traditionally underrepresented demographics. While most movie heroes, for example, are white, heterosexual, and male, there has been a real drive to move away from this tried-and-tested formula, and to instead feature positive role models for those who don’t fall into this arguably restrictive grouping.
This is something the video and slot game industries, in particular, are increasingly making strides toward accomplishing, as a host of brilliant black female characters are helping to demonstrate. Here are three of the best for those in search of a new title and a different and more diverse gaming experience.
Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil 5
If there’s one character we admire in Resident Evil 5, it’s the inimitable Sheva Alomar. Thrown into a world filled with flesh-eating zombies, she nonetheless thrives, even though the odds are heavily stacked against her and every other human who’s left alive. Possessed of the most incredible combat skills, she’s a quick thinker who innately understands how to read and respond to high-stakes, high-intensity situations. If there’s one thing we can say for sure, it’s that Chris Redfield, her partner in the franchise, would never have managed to survive without her and her badass, warrior-queen character beside him.
Cleopatra from Cleopatra
For those with an interest in online betting games, websites like Paddy Power do an admirable job of providing options to suit every player. With lots of titles and dozens of different themes and storylines to choose from, they also have some incredibly interesting characters for individuals to play as, including the legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra. Believed to have had African ancestry, based on analysis performed on the skeleton of her half-sister, Cleopatra has gone down in legend as one of the greatest women who ever lived, and her successes are something this slot game celebrates.
Aveline from Assassin’s Creed: Liberation
As the first female protagonist to star in the globally renowned Assassin’s Creed series, Aveline is revolutionary in more ways than one. Giving girl gamers everywhere a strong feminine presence to emulate and aspire to, she represents two of the many demographics who are often absent from starring roles. Voted the sixth greatest heroine in gaming history, Aveline is as far as you can get from the all-American leading man, being a French-speaking female from a racial minority. Nonetheless, those who have played Liberation have unanimously fallen in love with her character, proving that stepping out of the box should never be seen as an obstacle to success.
Tell us, isn’t it time you tried your hand at one of these truly awesome titles?
Nicky Peterson is a freelance writer based in New Zealand. She has been involved in numerous editorial projects over the years and currently blogging around the entertainment, business, and finance industries.