Never Alone: Video Games and Other Interactive Design

4 / 4

Will Wright. The Sims. 2000 128

Video game software. Gift of Electronic Arts. © 2024 Electronic Arts

Gamer, Amira Virgil: Hi, my name is Amira Virgil. I'm a content creator, a streamer, and the creator of the Melanin Pack for The Sims 4.

The Sims is what I'd like to describe as a digital dollhouse. You're creating these little people. You're telling their stories, and you control the trajectory in which the stories go. You can have an extreme amount of control or very little control. You can build homes. You can create third party content for it. Things such as custom walls, floors, paintings, hairstyles, makeup, clothing—anything that has to be downloaded externally and added to the game that wasn't created by the developers of The Sims. I love the unique spin it allows you to put on your characters and your gameplay.

The Melanin Pack is a skin tone pack that I created to bring a broader range of brown skin tones with vibrance because a lot of the darker skin tones were really gray and ghastly. And I was like, not really seeing anybody make dark-skinned Sims, even Black creators. I was tired of not being able to accurately tell stories and have that representation.

One of my favorite things to say is that gaming is a form of media that we consume, and how people all over the world are represented within gaming, whether people want to admit it or not, it does spill out into the real world and how people are treated in their day to day.

I hope that folks come out with a new perspective or they think about games and gaming a little bit differently than they did before.