October 5, 2023
During Hispanic Heritage Month, Entertainment Software Association members are celebrating and amplifying Hispanic and Latino voices within their communities. Considering that 65% of Americans playing video games regularly, the video game industry is growing increasingly diverse as players from different backgrounds bond over a common love of video games. The ESA and its members are dedicated to honoring and celebrating the contributions that power the video game industry. Recognizing the importance of representation and inclusivity, the ESA is honored to share some of our members’ work in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Minecraft Education & the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Minecraft Education and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation formed a new partnership aimed at supporting Hispanic communities and recognizing the impact of Hispanic heritage with a variety of activations throughout the month. First, LatinExplorers 2 is a new immersive world that follows the story of three powerful women in history who are changemakers in their communities and the world overall. This includes Gloria Estefan, the Cuban-American singer who never gave up, Dr. Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go to space, and Monica Ramirez, a powerful social activist and attorney who works tirelessly in women’s rights. Students are able to have real-life Hispanic mentors guide them as they navigate adversity and overcome challenges, encouraging players to embrace virtues like perseverance, kindness and more. As a continuation of last year’s first installation of LatinExplorers, this partnership has now transformed a total of six notable Latino leaders into Minecraft characters that younger students can relate to and be inspired by as they seek out ways to create change in their own communities.
In addition, Xbox is spotlighting video games influenced by Hispanic and Latin American cultures on console, PC and cloud. Other console features in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month include a Microsoft Rewards initiative where members in the U.S. can show their support both online and offline by donating points to the Hispanic Heritage Foundation or CARE. As individuals play their favorite games, complete Game Pass Quests and carry out other in-game activities, more Rewards points are accumulated and can be donated to these charities to create a broader positive social impact within Hispanic and Latino communities.
Ubisoft Gente ERG
Ubisoft’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for those of Latin American descent, Gente, hosted an internal live discussion and interview with Audio Director, Eduardo Vaisman and 3D Team Lead Programmer Stephanie Brenham about how they captured the authenticity of certain aspects of Latin American culture in Far Cry 6.
Growing up during the 1976-1983 Argentine dictatorship, Vaisman translates his personal experiences into the intentionally curated sound design throughout the video game. From audio inspired by the Argentine government’s “comunicados” to the traditional compositions from street musicians, these details convey the rich culture of the communities represented in this online world. Personal and cultural connections are also woven into the design of the game as Brenham modeled characters after her mother’s stories about the Bogotazo riots as a little girl. Brenham reveals that the protagonist Dani Rojas embodies the “indominable spirit of a fighter” that her mom possessed as she remained resilient during unrest in Colombia.
Gente is one of many employee-led internal ERGs that are supported globally by Ubisoft. Gente is a group intended for team members who identify as Hispanic and/or Latin American to have a safe space to learn and converse about their unique experiences.