Get To Know These 9 Black Women Who Did Not Come To Play In The Gaming Industry

Born in Martinique in 1958, Muriel Tramis is known as the first Black woman video game designer. She was a computer engineer before becoming a gaming industry leader, paving the way for proud gaming geeksters and gamers alike to create diverse games.

Here are eight dope women who are heightening Black women’s voices, championing inclusivity, and building communities beyond entertainment.

Jacqueline Shorter-Beauchamp

Engaged Media Studios Inc. Co-founder, Chairwoman, and CEO Jacqueline Beauchamp is an African American technology pioneer and powerhouse in the space of augmented reality. EMS is a cutting-edge media production company specializing in virtual reality and multimedia storytelling through SaaS, Web3.0,Video Games and VR/MR/AR Immersive integrated products and services. Impressively, Beauchamp is the only African American person with a license from Microsoft to develop games for the Xbox platform. From a passionate storyteller to a successful entrepreneur, Beauchamp is celebrating new wins all the time, including partnerships with the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce. Her company recently relocated from the city of its birth, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to expansive new headquarters offices in Houston, Texas. Her designs and interactive exhibits have graced the Black College Hall of Hame and NFL Hall of Fame as well as during the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend festivities.


Courtesy of Jacqueline Beauchamp

Jay-Ann Lopez

Born-and-bred Londoner Jay-Ann Lopez is revered for creating community-powered businesses and safe gaming spaces. She is the CEO of Black Girl Gamers, a platform that illuminates dynamic communities of Black women in gaming worldwide. While aiming to up-level brands, Lopez’ also aims to advocate for diversity and inclusion. Black Girl Gamers is featured in the Afrofuturism exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. Lopez has completed her work on Forspoken, Square Enix’s recent RPG game, PCGamesN. She was also instrumental in a 2020 partnership with Spotify to create the gaming playlist Startselect to make a fun music playlist to game to and combat gaming stereotypes.

Keisha Howard

Keisha Howard is a “geek of all trades.” As the award-winning founder of Sugar Gamers, an advocacy and networking group for gamers of marginalized identities, Howard recognizes the potential for video games. The company serves as a catalyst behind transcending games beyond entertainment and into a mechanism for inspiration and social change. Since its inception, Sugar Gamers has evolved from video game enthusiasts to game developers, writers, testers, voice, mo-cap actors, artists, and designers. Some past projects include the open-source multimedia experience Project Violacea and the hybrid live-and-augmented sports arena known as Tachyon League.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sugar Gamers, Inc (@sugargamers)

Tanya Depass

Lifelong Chicagoan Tanya Depass, known by her username Cypheroftyr, loves everything gaming and is passionate about gaming diversity. No wonder she founded a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting diversity in various gaming fields. As the director of I Need Diverse Games, Depass wants to make gaming better and more inclusive for everyone. She is also the creator, creative director, and co-designer of the tabletop RPG, Into the Mother Lands. In addition to this, she has also served as the programming coordinator and diversity liaison at the nonprofit organization Gaymer X.

Latoya Peterson

Named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 rising stars in media, Latoya Peterson lives at the intersection of emerging technology and culture. She is best known for the award-winning blog, which provides a hip-hop feminist and anti-racist view on pop culture with a special focus on technology, video games, film, television, and music. Additionally, she is co-founder, CXO, and director for the culture at Glow Up Games, a creative R&D studio telling beautifully crafted stories using mobile, AR/VR, AI, and other emerging technologies. They are currently working on the “Insecure: The Come Up” game.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Glow Up Games ✨ (

Catt Small

Catt Small is a champion of digital design and a passionate model for creating meaningful experiences. Over the past 12+ years, the Bronx- born and bred creative leader has offered her expertise to help companies of all sizes. She has worked as a product designer for companies such as SoundCloud, Etsy, Asana, and All Turtles and is now at DropBox. When she is not working on design projects, Small creates and codes video games, including Train Jumper, TeleDoor, Breakup Squad, and, more recently, SweetXheart. She is also the co-founder and co-organizer of Game Devs of Color Expo, where she helps creates the vision and strategy for revolutionary events that showcase games made by game creators of color.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Catt Suite (@thecattsuite)


Momo Pixel

Momo Pixel is an award-winning art director, game designer, multidisciplinary artist, and professional creative. Among many of her skills, she specializes in art directing short-form pixel art video games for brands, including Google’s interactive game to celebrate the 82nd birthday of Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, one of the fathers of modern gaming. She also created a 2-D pixel art video game that created awareness around the Hulu original film Bad Hair. She also designed a small mobile video game for United Masters to help launch and build anticipation for NLE Choppa’s upcoming album. Pixel’s personal work includes Momoland, a pixel art exhibition merging art, music, anime, and technology. 


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Momo Pixel (@momopixel)


Brittney Morris

NAACP Image Award nominee Brittney Morris’ first console was the Nintendo GameCube. Now she writes video games and has contributed to projects such as The Lost Legends of Redwall, Subnautica: Below Zero, Spider-Man 2 for PS5, and Wolverine for PS5. Morris is also a genuine storyteller. After the success of her previous novels, The Cost of Knowing, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – Wings, and her YA debut Slay, Morris recently published her new tech-savvy adventure, The Jump.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Brittney Morris (@brittneymmorris)