Today I spent some quality time with my mom, and surprisingly we didn’t engage in very many battles. In fact, I don’t believe we had any at all during the time we spent together. Let me tell you from experience that when a mother and a daughter are very much alike, they clash. A lot. Little did I know that we were also alike in our career aspirations.
I have always claimed that my aunt–my mom’s sister–has been one of the greatest influences in my life. She was one of the bravest women I know, one of the truest and bluntest women out there. I idolized her–perhaps too much. Speaking with my mom changed that. Hearing her story and hearing my father’s story unfold before me like a gripping novel made me realize that my parents are easily two more of the bravest people I know. The trials they both had to face, the decisions they both had to make caused me to fully realize why not only are perseverance and courage and fortitude important, but why doing the right thing is perhaps the hardest, yet most intrinsically rewarding action one can take. My mom had said self-assuredly,
There is nothing wrong with me wanting to better myself, and there’s nothing wrong with me wanting to better the place I work in. So, I did.
Anyone who has spoken with me for more than a few seconds knows that I’ve big plans to expand and change the industry. I don’t expect to do it all, but I do expect to make things easier for those who will join the industry down the line. Who am I opening the way for? The Latinos. The Mexicans. The Chicanos. Industry expansion is one of the surest ways we can insure a steady and productive flow of creativity, and this counts doubly so when we bring cultural and racial diversity into the mix. I want to see differing cultural ideals within the games I play. I want to explore new worlds that are not rooted in dominant Western culture. I want, to put it plainly, a new experience.
My mom had told me that when she entered the medical field, there were virtually no Latinos in the industry and only slightly more women. She faced discrimination due to her gender and her race. In addition to that, there were other boundaries set firmly in her way that did not make the transition from student to professional any easier. In spite of all that, my mom worked extremely hard and eased the way for a younger generation of Latinos to enter the medical science domain. She was the only Latina employed at her hospital for over twenty-seven years. It wasn’t until recently that the labs became a bit more culturally diverse.
While arguably a time with differing ideals and social norms, can’t it be said that it would still be difficult for a minority of any type to enter any industry that is almost overwhelmingly dominated by the majority?
Now, I pose another question: off the top of your head, can you name an important figure in the video game industry that is Latino?
I can’t. I aim to change that.