Video games have evolved over several decades in more ways that one. What used to be a simple yet popular pastime primarily targeted at children has become a profitable sector of pop culture complete with conferences and tournaments. The world-building and gameplay are more seamless with their own set of complex rules. However, one evolution that’s moving too slow is the inclusion of Black female video game characters.
It’s difficult to name many who aren’t non-playable characters (NPCs) much less those who are leads or secondary characters. But, there are a few Black characters who do exist. They range from bold warriors to fighters to survivors in horrific circumstances – all of whom deserve some recognition.
Here are five great Black female video game characters:
Clementine – The Walking Dead
Telltale Games/Skybound Games
The Walking Dead’s video game universe is just as expansive and intriguing as the franchise’s flagship TV show with a Black girl protagonist. Long-time players have witnessed the evolution of Clementine from a kind little girl to a more hardened teenager fighting for survival. Her story of growing up in the apocalypse and navigating death, destruction, and life is one for the books.
Nadine Ross – Uncharted
Sony Interactive Entertainment/Naughty Dog
This South African mercenary goes from being an antagonist to forming a partnership with Chloe Frazer on a treasure hunting adventure. Nadine is a fierce leader, resourceful, and ruthless when she needs to be while still showing some kindness and empathy. She keeps a gun and her lethal martial arts skills ready for any enemy who dares to cross her path.
Elena – Street Fighter
Street Fighter is a classic video game franchise that has thrilled generations of players. One of the most memorable fighters in the game was Elena, the first Black female character in the franchise. She’s an expert in capoeira who can take down her opponents with her signature fluid, precise, and unique style. Elena first appears in Street Fighter III (1997) and shows up many more times in subsequent games.
Aveline de Grandpré – Assassin’s Creed
It’s pretty powerful to have a Black woman protagonist in a massive franchise like Assassin’s Creed. Aveline de Grandpré is a French-African assassin in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation. She fought during the French and Indian War in 18th century New Orleans to liberated slaves. Aveline is a force to be reckoned with who also looks like a total boss.
Shinobu – No More Heroes
The youngest member of the United Assassins Association is none other than Shinobu. She tries to hide her double life from her high school classmates – even if that involves murder. Shinobu possesses a ton of skill and physical prowess with her katana handy for any battle.
Are there more Black female video game characters?
This list is certainly not exhaustive. There are other playable Black women and girl characters who take on various roles within the narrative as playable characters. Hopefully, video games will continue to move towards a wider scope of representation so Black girl gamers of all ages can dive into a world with a protagonist who looks like them.