I remember the original Ghostbusters movie. I was a teenager when it was released, and I saw it in the theater. It was fantastic for a little nerdling like me to see science and cool stuff and people who won through smarts rather than brute force.
Ernie Hudson’s Winston Zeddemore wasn’t a scientist. He wasn’t one of the smart guys who saved folks. That’s what bothered me when I saw the first film the most: seeing a black person on screen, but not seeing them be fully part of the story. We’ve gotten the same old tropes 30 years later, and it’s still a problem. This is why I’m not cheering the reboot with the same unbridled glee as other folks.
THIS IS A TREND
The original Ghostbusters wasn’t an anomaly in this sense. I never got to see myself as the scientist, the geek or the nerd, except by proxy of a token black dude that tagged along with the other guys in movies. Black girls and women weren’t there unless they happened to be the mom, girlfriend, sister, cousin or random neighbor of the token black dude. I grew up, but the media I watched didn’t.
Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a non-profit organization based in Chicago, which is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming. I Need Diverse Games serves the community by supporting marginalized developers attend the Game Developer Conference by participating in the GDC Scholarship program, helps assist attendance at other industry events, and is seeking partnership with organizations and initiatives.
Tanya is a lifelong Chicagoan who loves everything about gaming, #INeedDiverseGames spawn point, and wants to make it better and more inclusive for everyone. She founded and was the EIC of Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture was discussed and viewed through a lense of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. Now she’s a co-host on Spawn on Me Podcast. Along with all of that, she’s the Programming Coordinator for OrcaCon, she often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality & other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games, Mic, and other publications.
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2 thoughts on “ICYMI – I wrote about Ghostbusters, tropes & missing discourse for @Polygon”
Yeah, I just can’t sit through this. The trailer made me nauseous.
Reblogged this on outoftokenscast.
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