St. Thomas Magazine_Spring 2022

M s. Billie Mahalia Rudolph can run on water, hear ultrasonic sounds and move at supersonic speeds. The 77-year-old African American with an aeronautics degree is one of several senior citizen video game characters created by University of St. Thomas alumna Jules Porter. Porter, who in 2018 received a joint J.D./MBA, plans to officially launch Ultimate Elder Battle Royale on Juneteenth 2022. The role-playing game moved into beta testing during Black History Month. Imagine: aging superheroes living in nursing homes who still have prime skills and a continued desire to save the world from villains. They have secret weapons hidden in their walkers and they stay fit by engaging in underground fight clubs. Most importantly, the majority of these heroic characters are people of color. “It‘s rare to find positive Black characters in video games – many of By SHEREE R. CURRY Art provided by SERAPH 7 STUDIOS CREATING VIDEO GAMES TO CHANGE THEWORLD them are gangsters, mobsters, drug dealers and prostitutes, and that‘s not representative of who we are,“ said creator and founder Porter, who is a licensed attorney with multiple college degrees. Porter is on a mission to change the face of the estimated $175 billion video game industry, both on the screens and behind the scenes. Through her Minneapolis-based start-up Seraph 7 Studios, the entrepreneur is accomplishing far more than debuting video games with an array of characters who reflect the world‘s racial diversity and aging population.

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