During the introductory paragraph about the concern of gaming and its negative effects and influence (considering race also) on children, the first thought that blasted in my head was “GRAND THEFT AUTO” before the article mentioned it. I played GTA when I was younger and I remember family members telling my mother it wasn’t good for me and would negatively affect me. I always took this as an insult, because I simply enjoyed driving the cars and getting money from missions and knew that nothing about the game enticed me to emulate the things I saw.
It wasn’t until later after becoming a designer that I realized why people were so concerned. The urban space and characters portrayed in the game not only paint a certain picture about people of color to the world, but it also CAN shape those small children who are building their repertoire of race, the world, what’s cool, and what’s acceptable (or not). This ties into the power and responsibility that designers and makers have: Does the work you create imply or send the messages you want to the right people in the right way? It leaves me constantly questioning myself and what I do—How do I make the project or work that I desire to, while also staying deeply informed and aware of how other people will be affected. Whether it’s a game or something else, everything we do sends a message. I want to send the right one.