March 2, 2024


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Halo's Black History Month armor shaders are unintentionally funny

Halo's Black History Month armor shaders are unintentionally funny

Black History Month is that special time when video game companies try to show consumers how inclusive they are with special Black/African-themed in-game cosmetics and messages of appreciation for the three or four Black employees they keep on staff at any given time.

in auraAs for, it offers players a special set of armor shading in colors and patterns commonly associated with African art and culture. As a concept, these shaders are quite good. Individual players can use cosmetics to spruce up their armor; Great, I dig it. But the way 343 puts all these individual pieces together, like the ridiculous Voltron of Blackness, is darkly funny in a way I don't think the company intended.

More often than not, video game companies' attempts to attract black consumers range from futile to benign. Other times, like what 343 did here, I find myself confused.

Infographic: Game Developers Conference

Worse still, the majority of those surveyed who had 20 or more years of experience in the industry—the kind of people who have the seniority to approve marketing materials like this—only 6 percent were Black men and none were Black women.

But looking at this hurts me. Reminds me of that episode in Boys The third season is when A-Train, the only black member of The Seven – a film about The Avengers – gets a new African-themed super suit in order to gain the approval of blacks and thus increase his popularity and the bottom line of his handlers.

The company needs you to find the difference between these two pictures.
Image: Amazon and Image: 343 Industries

Unlike in BoysThere is no malice in what 343 did here. I wonder if the shaders, separately, were considered appropriate, and someone in the art department pulled them together to show them all at once, resulting in what we see here. Or maybe black people who might have approved of this look thought it was good. It happens every now and then: black people will make artwork for other black people that misses the mark – just look the Reviews to American Negro Magical Society. Hell, this could all be an elaborate prank – A auraAn -ified version of the popular meme format on Black Twitter is where we put it Kufi on everyone from vision to ed of Ed, Ed and Eddy. No matter the how or why, I definitely laughed.

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