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Intersection Of Being Black And The Craft Of Making Mafia Game
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We want you to feel a visceral sense of rejection of the language being used by racists in the mafia online game. We keep talking about systemic racism, but systemic racism is still personal. And we want that to feel personal so that you can react to it.
It comes down to user testing. It comes down to (again) to a gut check. We didn't want it to be every other word out of the enemies' mouths, but at the same time, we wanted to strike the right balance.
It should be in enough that it's always in the background, still in the center of your experience. They acknowledge you as a black man in the South in 1968. They are aware of the power dynamics. We want the player to have an awareness of what their "place" in the world is at this time, and how they're seen. And they're not seen as people by the enemy combatants. They're seen as "that nigger over there that needs to be dealt with."
Yeah, it's heavy, but I'm hopeful. Like, I'm thrilled to be having this conversation. We get to try to tackle these issues in a way that's thoughtful even in regards to something pulpy and revenge driven.
That said, there is a tiny part of me that is like, I wish we could be having a different conversation. There is this weight that hangs over so many interviews with marginalized creators where... It's a weight so heavy that it's a gravity: We can't escape our identities. We can't but talk about race.
Do you ever just want to talk about craft?
If someone wants to have the conversation about craft, I'd dive into it. And I think so much of what you've been asking so far is at the intersection of being black and the craft of making mafia games.
A lot of the decision making process that we go through here: User tests, and gut checks, the research that goes into everything—that would go into any other mafia game we make. But we deliberately made a mafia game where you play as a black man in 1968. That's gonna factor in no matter what. So we're going to be talking about race, and that's a discussion I'm going to have.
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