When Danielle, aka Ebonixsims, wanted to make a computer game character in her image, she found that she couldn’t. So she started “Simming in Melanin.”
Have you ever wanted to create a video game character that looked exactly like you – so you don’t have to settle for the game defaults because there aren’t enough options to make your character as true to your blackness as possible?
Ebonixsims is all too aware and is doing something about it. What started as her wanting to create herself in her favorite game, The Sims has grown into an important movement where other black people can skin their characters to represent them as much as they desire.
I started making content because I wanted to make myself. I literally wanted a dashiki at first but then I really thought to myself, hold on I can’t make myself, there isn’t anything out there. and I came to the realization that there is a gap, there was something missing and that needed to be filled.
I started creating content so I could fill that gap and bring representation into the game that I loved.Ebonixsims
After award-winning rapper T-Pain used her creations, Danielle’s work blew up even more. Danielle wants to help gaming companies improve their diversity and representation.
BBC Africa News recently spoke with the half Nigerian, half Asian creator about her work. The comments on this video offer an insight into how important Ebonixsims’ work is for people with African origins.
Imagine creating a character who wears Kente or Ankara fabric and wears all the different types of hair black people have.
One user wrote,
I don’t even live in that hemisphere of the world but I can definitely appreciate this kind of content. I play a lot of single-player RPGs that usually allow you to create a custom character. The options for those of us who are of afro origin are allowed is limited.Theosis27
I love the sims!! It’s so frustrating when base character creation lacks things like afro hair, braids or even dark enough skin so it’s hard to recreate yourself. I appreciate her efforts to address this and I hope she’s hired to do this professionally so it becomes STANDARD!! This is what #diversity should mean.Michuu