Representation Matters – US2020 RTP Gaming Expo

Representation Matters – US2020 RTP Gaming Expo

I hosted a vendor booth at the US2020 RTP Gaming Expo where I showcased my Indie fashion game, Diva Chix, on my 13” Macbook. Amongst the other vendors were virtual reality exhibits, dog robots, and dozens of other fancy and futuristic games.

Us2020 rtp gaming & it expo

More than 250 middle and high school students were in attendance and were free to see any of the exhibits that they were interested in. I was terrified that no one would come to see my small little setup that lacked the glitzy signage and theatrical effects that other booths had. Yet, before they could even make out what it was I was showing, a substantial amount of girls (and black boys) were drawn to my station and wanted to see what I had to demo.

This was because in the midst of the (white) male-dominated vendor booths, they saw someone who they could identify with. That drew them in way more than the robot dog or the virtual reality goggles.

As a professional with more than 13 years in the industry, I’m still moved the same way these girls were when I see women in my field being highlighted. Earlier this year, a tweet came across my feed that showed a black woman (Annyce Davis) who was going to be speaking at a tech conference. As a Black woman myself, this immediately grabbed my attention and I read more about the conference and ultimately ended up attending. See how that works? Representation matters.

Angie Jones
  • Matt

    I really hope you continue to be an inspiration to black boys and girls, as well as Latinos, as that particular demographic is largely lacking in programming, especially females. I work in web development. I am a white male. I work in an office with 3 other web developers, all female, one of whom is white, and the other two are Latina.

    I originally began as a self-taught programmer in Visual Basic, but moved on to JavaScript and PHP (we do not use PHP at work). I think what scares most people away is the fact that everyone thinks when it comes to programming, math is involved, and in fact, it has to do more with logic than anything else. Sure, we use some math, but even I was scared away from programming for a long time due to my believing that there was a ton of math involvement. Once I taught myself programming, I realized it was all mostly just logic and understanding the syntax.

    Please continue to inspire black people in programming! More specifically – black people in tech! It is a wondrous field of opportunity! From working for a company to freelancing to even starting your own businesses, there is so much you can do if you know how to code!

    October 31, 2016 at 3:46 am Reply
  • David Brunson

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
    It’s the little changes that will make the greatest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

    March 21, 2017 at 3:11 pm Reply

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