Black hairstyles will be getting a much-needed makeover in video games! According to Vice News, Black artists have plans to shake up the industry with unique hairstyles that will finally put an end to the lack of representation offered in previous years—and it all started with a conversation.

For years, Black gamers have complained about the struggles of finding a character that reflects their personal style. Most game threads reveal conversations of gamers particularly upset that they are constantly forced to conform to the limitations of braids, dreads, and mini afros that lack texture, style, design, and the overall swag and versatility of our community. 

Sick of beauty limitations in the gaming space, Oakland-based artist and UC Santa Cruz assistant professor A.M. Darke created the Open Source Afro Hair Library, the industry’s first free database of 3D-modeled Black hairstyles. Gamers, get ready to see popping curls and unique braided designs on your screens!

“All of us can be caretakers, all of us can be stewards, all of us can look at the work and think about how to use it ethically and point out unethical practices,” explained Darke, who teaches Digital Arts, New Media, and Performance Play and Design. “I want to create a space that’s open for all Black folks to have this conversation about what we want this to be.”

Slated to launch on Juneteenth 2023, the Open Source Afro Hair Library will recruit Black artists and function as a source for usable 3D assets that celebrate the beauty of creativity. The movement will address the lack of thoughtful representation in games, virtual/augmented reality, and other 3D media.

Although the database is still more than a year out, the public can get a sneak peek of what to expect. Click here to check out the fun and colorful hairstyles.

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