Black Voices in Board Games

This list started as a Twitter thread, but I'm putting it here so it doesn't get lost. Additions welcome: I'm elizhargrave at gmail or on Twitter.

It's not at all clear that this is the right place to be hosting this list, but here it is. Let me know if you have ideas about better places to host.

Designers

Eric Lang | Ontario

@eric_lang

Eric is an award-winning board game designer with 4 games in the top 200 on Board Game Geek: Blood Rage, Rising Sun, Chaos in the Old World, and Arcadia Quest. He currently works at CMON as Director of Game Design.

Ken Johnson | Michigan

Ken is the designer of the mass-market card game Phase 10, which has sold over 3 million copies. He is also an app developer, writer, speaker, and coach for inventors.


Eric Slauson | Virginia

@slausondesigns

Eric is "Interested in creating memorable social experiences that challenge what games can be." His games include Tattoo Stories and MonsDRAWsity.

Damon Stone | Georgia

@iLogos

Damon was Lead Developer for Netrunner while at Fantasy Flight Games.

Omari Akil | North Carolina

@OmariAkil

Omari founded the company Board Game Brothas with the goal of increasing diversity and representation in the board game industry. Their first game is Rap Godz.

Marcus Ross | Nebraska

@MarcusRoss

Marcus is the co-founder and lead designer of Water Bear Games. His published catalog includes the games Discount Salmon, BEEEEES! (via Action Phase Games) and Letter GO! (via Wizkids).

Latesha Williams | New York

@cards4allpeople

Latesha co-designed the mass-market trivia game Black Card Revoked, which was turned into a black culture trivia game show on BET. She is the co-founder of the publishing company Cards For All People.

Jay Bobo | New York

@jaybobo

Jay is co-designer of Black Card Revoked and co-founder of Cards For All People.

Damon Saddler | California

Damon is a Key Lead Designer at Mattel. He has worked on games including UNO Attack, UNO Power Grab, Pictionary Showdown, and Scrabble Speed.

Fertessa Scott | Georgia

@Fertessa , @BookofVillainy

Fertessa's game Book of Villainy was a finalist in the Board Game Workshop contest in 2018. She's also a contributor at Girl's Game Shelf.

Gary Alaka

@gapclosergames

Gary co-designed the game Rival Restaurants. He's a project manager at Gap Closer Games.

MaryMartha Ford-Dieng | New York

@ClapBackGame

MaryMartha created the party game The Ultimate Clap Back.

Cory Goff | Florida

@XInfinityGames

Cory started Times Infinity Games and published his game 7 & 7., a card game about sins and virtues.

Gerald King III | Ohio

@UltimateTeamup

Gerald designed Flip and Find's Diner. He's also in the consultant section below for his work with Ultimate Team-Up.

Tanisha Hall | South Carolina

@inallseriesness

Tanisha made Hillman the Game after playing The Game of Life and wishing there were Black characters. She created a game that riffs on favorite characters from 80s and 90s tv shows, and started the company In All Seriesness to publish it.

Sanderson Virgolino | Brazil

@SanVirgilino

Sanderson has several published games in Brazil, including Bushido and La Muerte.

Adrienne Smith | Massachusetts

@BlitzChampz , @adriennethe10

Adrienne is a tackle football player who created Blitz Champz, a card game about football that sneaks in some math skills for kids.

Jennifer Schlickbernd | California

@JenSchlickbernd

Jen co-designed Advanced Civilization (1991). She was one of the early US proponents of German games in the 1980s, and one of the first people to get a DCI number for Magic: The Gathering. She remains an active gamer, BGG user, and podcaster.

Mike Pondsmith

@mikepondsmith

Mike is best known for his work in RPGs, but has also designed board games, including Go Dice and a series of games that were published in Buck Rogers magazine.


Grailing Jones | California

Graining is a long-time wargamer. He has designed A Distant Thunder, based on Battles and Campaigns of the Anglo Dutch Wars at Sea, published by Heritage Games.

Christienne Hinz | Illinois

@xpelicious

Dr. Hinz is studying the gamification of world history pedagogy with computer games, role-playing games, and board games that model the economic systems and socio-political structures of the past.

Chantel Calloway | Massachusetts

@rhymeantics

Chantel designed Rhyme Antics, a game she describes as “Catch Phrase meets karaoke.” Players engage in a battle of words to test their vocabulary and speed.

Alfonzo Smith Jr. | California

Alfonzo designed the games Vie and In or Out. He is also the celebrated auctioneer for Strategicon in Los Angeles.

Perry Clemons | New York

@InequalityOpoly

Perry is an educator and game designer who made the game Inequality-opoly to help people understand how structural racism and sexism in America serve as impediments to accumulating wealth.

Kimelia Weathers | California

@BrilliantOrBS

Kim is the designer of the bluffing trivia game Brilliant or BS. When she's not designing games, she is a producer for reality competition shows on TV.

Jerry Spatch | Massachusetts

Jerry made Vers: the Rap Gameas an entrepreneurship student at Northeastern University.

Chidi Paige | New Jersey

@ChidiPaige, @birdwiser

Chidi is a biologist and STEAM educator who designed the game BirdWiser.

PJ Vilsaint | Arizona

@bossbattlegame

PJ is a former digital game developer who co-designed the card game Boss Battle.

Jessica Pierce | Arizona

@jessnestuff

Jessica is an illustrator, animator, and graphic designer who co-designed the card game Boss Battle.


Yeside Osuolale | Nigeria

Yeside is the Creative Lead at Forerunner Games, a tabletop games company in Nigeria.

Kenechukwu Ogbuagu | Nigeria

@nibcardgames

KC designs and publishes board games in Nigeria, where he has also opened the first board game cafe and spearheaded the first board game convention.

Artists

Hamu Dennis | Louisiana

@hamu_dennis

Hamu is an artist, photographer, and videographer who cofounded Board Game Brothas and illustrated Rap Godz.

Cara Ryan Heacock | Nebraska

@caramiki , @waterbeargames

Cara is a web developer, graphic designer, and illustrator Cara's first co-design, Discount Salmon, won the Tabletop Deathmatch in 2014. Other titles from her company Water Bear Games include Beeeees! and Nom Nom Pretzel.

Nivea Toliver| Pennsylvania

@dari_paints

Nivea is a freelance artist who works in concept art, character design, children's book illustration, card game illustration, and visual novel illustration. She was the artist for the Yes! Broccoli! card game.


Keturah Ariel | Ohio

@keturahAriel

Keturah illustrated the game Angry Moms. The first children's book she illustrated, I Am Enough, became a 2018 New York Times Bestseller.

Lamaro Smith | Grand Bahama

Lamaro was an artist for the games Jinja and Murder on the Cosmic Express.

Daimon Hampton | Illinois

@daimondrewthis

Daimon is a UX designer, illustrator, comic book artist, and comedian from Chicago. He illustrated the game Brave New Worlds.

Rob Guillory | Louisiana

Rob is a comic book artist whose works include CHEW and FARMHAND. He illustrated the game Maniacal.

Jessica Pierce | Arizona

@somejessnstuff

Jessica is an illustrator, animator, and graphic designer who co-designed the card game Boss Battle.


There's a good chance I've missed artists who have illustrated board games here -- let me know!

If you're looking for someone to illustrate your next game, check out #DrawingWhileBlack on Twitter and this database of Black artists.

Consultants and Scholars

Tanya DePass | Illinois

@cypheroftyr

Tanya is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a non-profit organization advocating for inclusion and representation primarily in video games. She is also a writer, sentitivity reader, and diversity consultant. On the side, she's part of Rivals of Waterdeep, a Dungeons and Dragons show on twitch.tv/dnd that features all POC cast members.

Gerald King III | Ohio

@UltimateTeamup

Gerald founded Ultimate Team-Up to help creators and publishers with online coaching and in-person events focused on playtesting, development, and marketing.

Aaron Trammell | California

@aarontram

Aaron is an assistant professor of Informatics at UC Irvine, where he is affliated with the Transformative Play Lab. He is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Analog Game Studies. Aaron’s research is focused on revealing historical connections between games, play, and the United States military-industrial complex. He is interested in how political and social ideology is integrated in the practice of game design and how these perspectives are negotiated within the imaginations of players.

Content Creators

Eric Yurko

@whatseplaying

Eric does written board game reviews and gorgeous board game photos.

Mandi Hutchison

@boardgamerpinup

Mandi does reviews, teaches of games, and a biweekly podcast.

Monique Bishop

@Gamefreakgeek

Monique is Social Media Manager for Girls' Game Shelf and frequent particpant in their livestreams.

Jeremy Howard

@jambapg

Jeremy does previews and run-throughs, including Solo Sundays for Man vs Meeple.

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Charles Washington

Charles is cohost of the Eternally Board podcast.

Jonah & Shantelle Dew

Jonah and Shantelle do reviews and previews at Tantrum House.

DeQuan Watson

@powrdragn

DeQuan has been a MTG pro, game store owner, and WotC employee. He has channels on Twitch and YouTube and also runs the Color of Magic podcast.

Mik and Starla Fitch

@our_plays

Mik and Starla run a YouTube channel called Our Family Plays Games.

Jayson Deare

@Dice_and_Dragon

Jayson and his wife Julie run the review channel Dice and Dragons

Jennifer Schlickbernd | California

@JenSchlickbernd

Jen co-designed Advanced Civilization (1991). She was one of the early US proponents of German games in the 1980s, and one of the first people to get a DCI number for Magic: The Gathering. She remains an active gamer, BGG user, and podcaster.

Eric T. Elder

@HAWK727

Eric is also a member of the Game Brain podcast.

Business Owners

Lee Gaddis | Michigan

@GaddisGaming

Lee founded Gaddis Gaming to make Table Toppers and other gaming-related items.

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Timm Metivier | Nevada

@Meeplevillecafe

Timm was a comedian and magician before he opened FLGS Meepleville Board Game Cafe in Las Vegas. He also runs Dice Tower West.

Lena Sinex | Maryland

@3GearGames

Lena is co-owner of FLGS 3 Gear Games in Savage Mill, Maryland.

Derrick Taylor | Nevada

Derrick co-owns FLGS Shall We Play? in Las Vegas.

Darnel and Delaina Sonnier | Louisiana

@AnubisGameHobby

The Sonniers own FLGS Anubis Game and Hobby outside Lafayette.