Creators of Color: Celebrating the Dynamic Voices in Our Community
In honor of the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate some of our talented creators of color as they continue to inspire our community members around the world, help them discover their passions, and find support both IRL and on the platform. We spoke with Nicole, Garvey, Ashley, and Laine about their experiences with Roblox. We also invited them to encourage new creators and suggest ways to include and elevate other people of color on the platform.
Nicole, Age 12, She/Her
I’ve been interested in being a Roblox Creator ever since I started playing in 2015. I found out about the platform by watching well-known YouTubers like ItsFunneh, among others. As I was playing, I also realized how creative I could be, and I started thinking about how I could influence people to play and create.
Currently, I enjoy doing speed builds in one of my favorite games called Welcome to Bloxburg, and making Roblox GFX (note: beautiful, realistic images of Roblox avatars and graphics), animations, and clothes. I also recently started a YouTube channel that allows me to engage with the audience, talk to them, and ask questions. I’m at my most creative when I’m coming up with new ideas for my channel and editing videos.
I’ve met hundreds of friends on Roblox over the years, and I still talk to many of them now. Playing Roblox has also made me less shy in real life. I’m lucky to have very supportive parents who are really proud of what I’m doing. My message for parents who might be worried about their kids spending too much time on their screens: it’s important to recognize that kids and teens can learn a lot on Roblox that can help them in the future, and it allows them to communicate with friends—especially during this time when we can’t see them as much!
On the equality of opportunities to create: Nobody really knows what you look like behind your screen when you’re playing or making a game on Roblox. Even if people do end up knowing what skin color, gender, or nationality you are, or just how you look, nobody really minds. The Roblox community is very welcoming, so I do think there is an equal opportunity for anybody to succeed.
On including more people of color: I want to start spreading the word more about anti-racism on my YouTube channel and also make some Roblox GFX that includes every culture.
“The Roblox community is very welcoming, so I do think there is an equal opportunity for anybody to succeed.” – Nicole
Garvey, Age 12, She/Her
I got started by just playing around with Roblox Studio and watching YouTube tutorials from developers like AlvinBlox.
During COVID-19, I couldn’t really do anything outside of the home. Roblox gave me an outlet and the opportunity to create whatever I wanted. I enjoy making content with animations and obbies (note: obstacle courses), and I’m actually launching a game this month which I’m really proud of. I’ve been pushing myself to keep learning how to make games, so my overall creativity and planning, problem-solving, and time management skills have been improving tremendously.
I’ve also made some educational YouTube videos to speak with the community on topics related to race. For example, in one video, I explained how to best show support for the Black Lives Matter movement on the platform.
On the equality of opportunity to create: I think the biggest draw for Roblox is that the platform is free, which creates equal opportunities. Anyone can become a developer and nobody (that I know of) has ever been rejected because of their race, gender, or sexuality. However, there are certainly barriers to access in technology and gaming that exist outside Roblox that need to be overcome so that we have more diverse gamers and creators. I would like to see continued improvement on player customization, allowing people to create avatars that look like them or other creative possibilities to express themselves.
On including more people of color: Minority groups are often up against the odds when participating as equals in the gaming industry. We need to support girls, non-binary people, and black and non-black gamers of color. I think that encouraging people to join us would be of great help for people of color in the gaming community. I spoke about this and other ways to build inclusive communities during Peace One Day’s #AntiRacism broadcast.
“We need to support girls, non-binary people, and black and non-black gamers of color. I think that encouraging people to join us would be of great help for people of color in the gaming community.” – Garvey
Ashley, Age 17, She/Her
I learned about Roblox from one of my friends back in 2013. I started playing and later began exploring Roblox Studio, a free tool that lets you develop and create your own fully-fledged experiences. I’m now a full-time 3D artist and developer on Roblox, focused on innovative experiences and narratives, while also cultivating a safe environment for LGBTQ+, POC, and ND individuals and creating spaces that support subversive forms and methods of storytelling, representation, and advocacy.
I’ve discovered my full-time career and passion, and alongside my girlfriend Nicole (Reselim on Roblox) who does programming, UI, and graphics, we both pretty much make up a “full” development team. I’ve also created art that I’m very proud of, like my Pride Bandana UGC line. Being able to see the positive impact that it had on the LGBT population and youth has been amazing! Hearing how valid and accepted it made people feel really does put into perspective my drive to create representation for this and other marginalized communities.
As a social platform, Roblox has given me an opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded people who have gone through a lot of the same experiences that I have, further leading me to find and craft new opportunities that might not be entirely possible in the mainstream workforce.
On overcoming challenges: My story is quite the different one—I grew up with a family largely unsupportive of my identity and my passions. Surrounding myself with a community that supported my work and finding my identity as a trans person was crucial when it came to overcoming the negative home environment and navigating the negativity I often experienced online. Roblox served as the perfect place to do just that. My message to parents: it’s important to allow your children to discover their own identities and pursue their dreams, and to support them in doing so! And to the unfortunate who don’t get this consideration: surround yourself with people who support you!
On the equality of opportunity to create: Opportunities on the platform tend to be the most accessible work I’ve found, especially having surrounded myself with like-minded people! Although not perfect, I believe Roblox is one of the most equal platforms for creators because everything is simple to learn and success is completely untied from biases, racial, or otherwise.
“As a social platform, Roblox has given me an opportunity to meet and interact with like-minded people who have gone through a lot of the same experiences that I have, further leading me to find and craft new opportunities that might not be entirely possible in the mainstream workforce.” – Ashley
Laine, Age 24, He/Him
I started developing on Roblox when I was about 13 years old. When I joined Roblox, I didn’t know how to code. I was motivated to start learning because the games I played regularly had some bugs, weren’t being updated much, and I had a lot of ideas of my own I wanted to add, so I wanted to recreate them.
I was in university when I made Book of Monsters (note: Laine’s top experience with nearly 50M visits at the time of this publication). It took a couple of years to create because I had to balance school, life, and working on the game.
My parents didn’t take much notice of what I was doing until I applied for Roblox’s 2018 Summer Accelerator Program and got accepted. At that point, they were more confident in me, and as long as I was making enough to pay my university tuition, they were okay with me making games on Roblox instead of getting random summer jobs.
I mostly enjoy creating stuff that makes me laugh. While making Book of Monsters, I was like, “how funny would it be if we added a house monster?” and so I did it. I’m really proud of the unique gameplay decisions I made in the game. I treat it like a testing ground for some of my ideas. For example, in most round-based games, you have to sit around doing nothing while you wait for a new round to begin. I came up with the idea to let players jump off the lobby and turn into meteors that can destroy things and annoy players in the round. It’s something I hadn’t seen before in any other game, and it’s a way to give spectators an opportunity to interact with the game while they wait.
On skills acquired in the process: I think my experience on Roblox will help my future as a whole. I’ve gained a lot of skills that can apply to many different things, even beyond just making games on Roblox. I learned how to code on Roblox, which led me to pursue a degree in Computer Science. The experience gave me an advantage where I’d be able to pick up and apply concepts learned in class faster than others.
On the equality of opportunity to create: When I started out, I was using my parents’ slow computer to develop, but I was fortunate enough for it to even be able to run Roblox Studio. It took a bit longer for things to open on it, but I was still able to get things done. Lately, a lot of schools and kids have been turning to budget-friendly Chromebooks over Windows and Mac computers, but Roblox Studio isn’t supported on that platform right now as far as I know. This makes development a bit harder to get into for those who might not have access to a supported platform.
“I think my experience on Roblox will help my future as a whole. I’ve gained a lot of skills that can apply to many different things, even beyond just making games on Roblox.” – Laine
4 TIPS FOR ASPIRING CREATORS:
“I recommend researching what players on the platform enjoy. But most importantly, what do you enjoy? Boom. There is your game! I also recommend planning out your game and thinking about your abilities at that time. If you do that, then, as you get better, you can add more things and improve your game.” — GARVEY
“There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube and some inside Roblox Studio. Before you make your game, break down the ideas into smaller pieces, and look for tutorials and free models that most closely relate to the game you want to make. For example, let’s say you want to make a game with pets. You could start by figuring out how to get a block to follow your character around, then how to attach a pet model to that block, and so on. Over time, you might learn more advanced or more efficient ways of doing it. When you’re first starting out, not everything has to be perfect. You might want to restart from scratch often, but each time you do, you’ll have more experience than you started with.” — LAINE
“One key thing about content creation is actually enjoying what you’re doing. The more your viewers see that you actually like the game you’re playing, the more they’ll enjoy watching your stream or video. Another thing to keep in mind when starting out is being kind to people—if you see someone that might be new to the game (be it play or creation), don’t make fun of them. Try and help them instead. Roblox is about celebrating people’s differences.” — NICOLE
“Whatever the goal you work towards, it’s important that you strive to represent and prioritize the comfort of your marginalized player base (LGBTQ+, POC, neurodivergent, and disabled individuals, etc.). Accessibility is really important, even for the abled! Showing you support marginalized creators and content really goes the extra mile to tell people that hate isn’t tolerated on the platform. Listen to and amplify marginalized voices and make sure they have a say in your decisions!” — ASHLEY