A Closer Look At How Three Assassin's Creed Games Have Handled Slavery

Slavery in the Transatlantic of the 1700s was a complex, interconnected network of financial systems, social engineering and psychological repercussions. The Assassin's Creed video games that have dealt with it head-on made good use of that subject matter but also stumbled in particularly clumsy ways. "Collecting freed… » 3/31/14 12:40pm 3/31/14 12:40pm

​Soon You Can Play Assassin's Creed IV's Freedom Cry Without AC IV

Starting this month, PS3 and PS4 owners won't need to own the full version of Assassin's Creed IV to play its excellent Freedom Cry DLC. Ubisoft's just announced that they're releasing the Adéwalé-focused add-on as its own standalone release on February 18th. Make fun of the Black History Month timing all you want, but… » 2/05/14 12:00pm 2/05/14 12:00pm

​Taking Down a Slave Ship in Assassin's Creed IV's DLC Isn't Easy

Boarding a slave ship and liberating its human cargo is probably the most satisfying thing you can do in the new Freedom Cry DLC for Assassin's Creed IV. It's also one of the toughest. Take a look at how this naval battle to free slaves almost ended in tears. » 12/23/13 7:30pm 12/23/13 7:30pm

A Game That Showed Me My Own Black History

The newest chapter of the Assassin's Creed series gives me some of the things I've always wanted in a video game: a heroic fantasy that lets me control a warrior fighting against slavery. Part of it happens in Haiti, where my parents were born. Characters talk in Antillean Kreyol, the mosaic tongue made of French and… » 12/19/13 3:00pm 12/19/13 3:00pm

Assassin's Creed IV's Freedom Cry Add-On Is the Good Kind of DLC

People like to rag on downloadable content. It's a boondoggle, detractors say. A crass way to get extra cash for a chunk of a game that should've just been included on the disk. That's true in many cases. But Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry is the better brand of add-on, one where developers' experimentation with the… » 12/17/13 6:00pm 12/17/13 6:00pm

Assassin’s Creed IV’s DLC Offers a Very Different Kind of Rebellion

All those islands in the Caribbean that are plush vacation spots now? They used to be colonies, outposts for imperial powers that were replete with inhumane slave labor. Some of these places exploded—sometimes into self-rule—with violent uprisings and rebellions. The new add-on—out tomorrow—for Assassin's Creed IV:… » 12/16/13 12:44pm 12/16/13 12:44pm

One of the Funniest Superhero Comics Ever Is Finally Coming Back

The capes. The gadgets. The weird interpersonal relationships. The goats. Superheroes are straight-up absurd when you think about it. In 1997, a series called Quantum & Woody put that absurdity in the spotlight and won the hearts of, well, hundreds. Probably thousands. Definitely not millions, or else it wouldn't have… » 10/12/13 4:00pm 10/12/13 4:00pm

You're An Escaped Slave In Assassin’s Creed IV’s Freedom's Cry DLC

A while back, Ubisoft said that Assassin’s Creed IV would have an add-on campaign focused on Adewale, the former slave who serves as first mate on Edward Kenway’s the Jackdaw. The trailer above offers the first glimpse at the Freedom’s Cry expansion and, as you can see, it’s going to be markedly different than the… » 10/08/13 12:00pm 10/08/13 12:00pm

It Doesn't Matter That Remember Me's Main Character Is a Black Woman.

I wasn't sure that I was going to write about the race of Remember Me's heroine because I wasn't sure there'd be anything to write about. And after having played the game, I can say that Nilin's ethnic make-up plays no part in the world-building of the new Capcom adventure. » 6/04/13 5:44pm 6/04/13 5:44pm

This Is Why We Need More Black People Making Video Games

When I traded correspondence with writer David Brothers last week, I made the argument that video games needs its equivalent to Blazing Saddles. This time, I'm saying that it could use its own version of Milestone Media, the groundbreaking comics company started by a crew of black professionals. » 3/01/13 11:00am 3/01/13 11:00am

This Assassin’s Creed Heroine Is a Great Black Game Character. Here’s…

The odds should've been against Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. It starred a woman—specifically the half-black, half-French heroine Aveline du Grandpre. And it was an exclusive on the PlayStation Vita, a system that many people see as a sadly under-supported platform. » 2/27/13 9:00am 2/27/13 9:00am

This Is How We Get More Black People In Video Games

It's Black History Month, that time of year when people look at exceptional achievements and moments having to do with African Americans and black culture. What does that have to do with video games? Sadly, not a whole lot. There's such a paucity of black characters and creators in video games that it's difficult to… » 2/20/13 9:00am 2/20/13 9:00am

Why I'm Worried About My Daughter's Video Game Future

This is my daughter. Her nickname is Cheeks. I really want her to play video games. Like, I really, really do. One of her favorite things to grab when she wanders around the apartment is an Xbox 360 controller. She holds it the right way most of the time, presses the buttons and looks up at me with a big smile on her… » 4/03/12 5:00pm 4/03/12 5:00pm

Come On, Video Games, Let’s See Some Black People I’m Not Embarrassed…

I've never played as a black video game character who's made me feel like he was cool. Worse yet, I've never played a black video game character who made me feel like I was cool. Instead, I've groaned and rolled my eyes at a parade of experiences that continue to tell me video games just don't get black people. » 3/29/12 5:00pm 3/29/12 5:00pm