A Passion for Gaming and Community: Latinx Creators Paving the Way for the Next Generation in Gaming — Q&A: Fernando Reyes Medina

| Microsoft Latinx

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Tell us about your journey as a Latinx in the gaming industry.

I was born and raised in Mexico City, and it’s through my work with Microsoft that I find myself now in Redmond, Washington USA. Gaming has been a major part of my life since my youth, but growing up, I didn’t know it was possible to make a career out of it. In Mexico, at that time at least, there were no design schools or programs for gaming. I researched the possibilities, and my best bet was to become a programmer and from there a game designer. So that’s what I did. I studied computer science and was eventually recruited by Microsoft. It was interesting because my studies didn’t match the need as they were looking for someone with an engineering degree. But I think I succeeded in transmitting my passion and drive to the recruiter.

At first, I focused more on the engineering side and not what I had envisioned myself doing, but I knew how fortunate I was and how this could lead to great things for me. The environment was competitive and there were several obstacles to overcome, but these are challenges that many face to this day and hold them back from pursuing their dreams.

It’s these challenges that have stayed with me throughout my career, as it’s evolved to now helping others have access to opportunities to help them thrive. I’ve been there, I’ve lived it, and I want to do everything I can to empower and support my fellow Latinx peers and gamers.

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How important is diversity to you in the world of gaming?

I see the two as inextricably linked. What I always found fascinating about gaming is that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like or where you come from. It’s inclusive of everyone, and you feel that freedom and sense of community as a gamer. And when it comes to one’s own culture, we all have something to contribute, a story to tell, something unique that is home to some and totally unfamiliar to others. It’s an opportunity to share a piece of yourself. And Latinxs, we’re incredible storytellers! We have so much to share, and gaming is a medium that is so creative, so personal, it’s so important for us to have a space and a leading role within the industry.

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How have you been able to help other Latinxs in the gaming community? Why is this so important to you?

Latinxs haven’t had many role models when it comes to gaming. We didn’t even know it was available to us, and there are cultural nuances too that have held Latinxs back in pursuing it as a profession. And it required going after opportunities that may not have been suited for us or necessarily appealed to us, but we knew we had to go for it to get our foot in the door and start somewhere. You must be able to recognize when you’re faced with an opportunity and when to take it.

Therefore, Latinx in Gaming is so important and I’m so proud of the work we’re doing because it’s really going to move the needle in terms of changing how gaming is perceived within the Latinx community and inspire this talent to emerge and thrive. We have grown to a community of 10,000 here in the US, and we can’t wait to expand to Latin America.

I know what it’s like to love something, to be passionate about it, and to not be able to see it on the other side, to fruition, and having to pave my own way to get there. We want to help change it for this generation and future generations. It’s about taking that same sense of community that’s inherent to gaming, and together forging a new path, as a community. We want to help guide them and show them that not only is there a future there, but they are also the future, and their voice and their storytelling is what will shape it.

 

 

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