Published on October 27th, 2021 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


The Black In Gaming Foundation to Recognize Innovative Changemakers at Fifth Annual Black in Gaming Awards Show

In recognition of the achievements of top Black executives, creators, and developers who have made a significant impact in the video gaming industry, The Black in Gaming Foundation will host its fifth annual Black in Gaming (BIG) Awards. The award show will be streamed on Youtube, Facebook, and Streamyard on Saturday, November 13th at 3 p.m. PST/6 p.m. EST.

Hosted by long-time black game industry advocates Carl Varnado and gaming executive Laura Teclemariam, the BIG Awards is designed to educate the game industry and recognize Black game developers to honor outstanding accomplishments and help empower the next generation.

“People of color have been an integral, and often unrecognized, under-appreciated part of the game industry from the start,” says Black in Gaming Executive Director Carl Varnado. “This is how we honor the accomplishments of Black game developers and creators, industry-wide.”

Studies show approximately 2% of all game developers are people of black descent, while the demographic of players continues to be a huge consumer market segment. BIG Awards aims to bridge the ecosystem gap between black creators and consumers to create new career opportunities for marginalized communities.

“Through the BIG Awards, we’re able to recognize the game industry’s ‘hidden figures,” says Black in Gaming’s Chairwoman of the Board, Laura Teclemariam, “and so we help ensure Black ingenuity is documented and shared while recognizing their contributions for the aspiring game developers of tomorrow.”

Since its inception, the Black in Gaming Awards Show has successfully garnered interest and honored individuals from notable organizations including previous honorees Reggie Fils-Aime, former President/COO of Nintendo of America Inc., and Sarah Bond, Corporate Vice President, Game Creator Experience & Ecosystem at Xbox and more. The complete list of Black in Gaming Awards for 2021 include:

  • Excellence in Programming Award

Julian Walshaw-Vaughan, Vice President of Engineering of Roblox

  • Industry Champion Award

Davina Mackey, Director, Support Services & Operations, PlayStation Studios QA of Sony Interactive Entertainment

  • Media Award

Gerard “HipHopGamer” Williams, Media Personality and Gaming Journalist — WQHT (97.1 FM) – also known as Hot 97 in New York, NY

  • Lifetime Achievement Award

Travis Williams, Head of Third-Party Production, Oculus VR

  • Excellency in Artistry Award

Lauren A. Brown, Associate Art Director at Zynga on Words With Friends 2

  • Image Award

Stanley Pierre-Louis, President & CEO of Entertainment Software Association

  • Performance Award

Eli Harris, Award-Winning Actor and Voice Artist, who is known for Elder Scrolls: Skyrim–Wyrmstooth and the current voice of Manscaped and the LFA/UFC Fight Pass

  • Social and Economic Initiative

Trinidad Hermida,CEO of The Hermida Company and Co-founder of Mr. Augmented

  • Indie Developer Award

Neil Jones, Senior UX & Games Designer at Unity Technologies, and Indie Developer/Game Creator at Aerial Knight LLC

This year’s sponsors include Sony Interactive Entertainment, Niantic, Brass Lion Entertainment, and ESA (Entertainment Software Association). For more information on Black In Gaming, please visit www.thebigfoundation.org  and Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, and Twitter.

About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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