Home Breakthroughs Mother-daughter Duo; Empowering Black Girls With Gaming App

Mother-daughter Duo; Empowering Black Girls With Gaming App


Human behavior is determined through many contexts. The history of culture shows psycho-social development forms through knowledge, beliefs, values, and customs. It comes with some social norms that specify the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. 

A society includes different types of people with different cultures and diversity. In society, we should accept each other’s differences and unite ourselves as humans, living together with love and harmony.

In this 21st century, we still find people with a shallow mind. People are always judged by their complexion, and racism is still present. Racism blocks the path of psycho-social development in many ways. 

The International Gamers Developers Association noted that less than 2% of game designers in the gaming industry are Black, African American, African, or Afro Caribbean. Black people are severely misinterpreted and underrepresented in games. 

One mother recently took the initiative to fabricate a game for young Black girls to ensure confidence. She took this step because of her daughter, who she wants to help enter the gaming field to make her self-sufficient and increase her self-confidence.

This mother-daughter duo has secured the limelight in the gaming industry. Yvonne Oatley is the founder of Fromelles, the mobile gaming app. She constructed the game with her daughter, Alyssa Oatley. Yvonne says that her daughter and girls like her need to relate to the game characters, so her daughter designed them. 

Children tend to seek most knowledge from their surroundings, so they must be educated wisely and with good values. Children need to see other diverse characters through Oatley’s game. Children will understand and learn about racial differences through an optimistic approach.

Oatley believes in the value of her game. She points out that her daughter and girls like her need to appreciate themselves, and this game helps portray the pragmatic images of Black girls. Being a mother, she ensures that the games are appropriate and positively impact a child’s mental health. 

“We deserve to be well represented in all areas of media and creative content. The gaming industry is no exception. I truly believe we are making a difference, and the game is a fun and engaging way for girls to learn through play. The key message here is black is beautiful. We are challenging the European standards of beauty and championing our beauty as we know it to be.”

          -Yvonne Oatley

This mother-daughter duo confirmed that her daughter’s other games were safe, secure, and child-friendly but lacked diverse characters. Her daughter felt she could not relate to the characters. Alyssa wanted the game’s characters to be represented like her hair, like her skin; in short, the characters must resemble her. Alyssa’s feedback became the key for Yvonne to enter the world of the gaming industry. 

Oatley needed to learn vast information about app development and to become an entrepreneur. She took the challenges of app development and business development sportingly and eventually reached her goal. She also adds that it’s not unusual for her to face obstacles while starting a new business.

Upon entering this new world of enjoyment and fulfillment, she needed to update herself with the technical requirements for game approval. Oatley had to secure her way of thinking and needed to keep up continually. The challenges in this sphere of games are parallel to what Black women entrepreneurs face in other business fields: the challenges of being noticed, seen and heard. 

The app, Frobelles, was created by Yvonne Oatley in 2018 and was launched on November 10, 2020.

Frobelles is a dress-up game that features characters similar to young black girls they can relate to and aspire to be. Throughout the last two years, Oatley has been working with her daughter, Alyssa, on this gaming app. Together, they designed the looks and hairstyles for the gaming characters named Coco, Kelli, and Krista. 

The game is relatively easy, glowing, colorful, and amusing. Players can choose from an assortment of beautiful afro hairstyles, clothing, and accessories to complete the look, and Alyssa players’ voice is guided gradually. Each Frobelle consists of fashion sense and hairstyle options from locks to puffs to quoted t-shirts.

Once the players complete the game, they can also share their alluring looks on Frobelles Instagram with browsing styles created by users. Frobelles is now trying to construct a community of 10,000 followers on Instagram with communicative content and collaborate with girls. Frobelles is a fun dressing game and seeks to change the industry by aspiring to address the diversity gap in kids’ games.

Children are playing and spending two hours each day on games, so recognizing inspiring characters is essential. As the parental figure, one must ensure the children are learning positive and valuable things from the games. It is an effortless way to educate your child about all skin tones, as well as physical and cultural characteristics. 

Frobelles is available to children at a critical age, the time where we can imprint any lessons that will follow them later into their adult life, too. At this age, children begin to form attitudes about themselves and others based on their surroundings. As these factors are not inherited, they are learned, so this is the best time for them to be introduced. It is most significant to be well-represented in the media taught to respect Black people. If we fail to provide such an interpretation, this might lead to negative attitudes from childhood into adulthood.

Black people deserve to be represented correctly in all media fields and creative content. The gaming industry is not such a different field, and the game is a fun, engaging way to learn through play. The crucial point to be noted is that black is beautiful.


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