theGrio’s 100: Shawn Allen, insider pressing the reset button on the gaming industry

theGRIO'S 100 - Shawn Allen, 30, is a video game developer / capture artist who has worked with Rockstar games, the creators of the popular Red Dead Redemption and 'Grand Theft Auto' franchise...

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Who is Shawn Allen?

Thirty year-old Shawn Allen is a video game developer and capture artist who went from EBGames to Rockstar games, the creators of the popular Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto franchise.  Rockstar’s latest game Grand Theft Auto V, made over 1 billion dollars worldwide in under 3 days. Allen is now the CEO and Game Designer at NuChallenger,  a venture with a stated goal of coming up with innovative ways to create and market so that its titles do not disappear in the growing digital games sphere. An avid tweeter, Allen is generous in sharing his thoughts about the industry, ethnic diversity and how he thinks.

When responding to a tweet that proclaimed, “A person who relies on a car, sees their world in terms of TIME and person who bikes, sees it in SPACE,”  Allen tweeted, “I’m a person who walks everywhere. I see it in terms of time AND space :p”

Why is he on theGrio’s 100?

Shawn Allen is passionate that the same black and brown faces that enjoy playing video games are the same ones making them. In a multi-billion dollar industry, blacks and Latinos represent more than half of video game consumers, yet there are few shot callers on the business end.

Allen, a New York native, is fighting to make the business of the industry available to people from all backgrounds.

As  a speaker at the New York Video Game Conference in New York last year, Allen said, “New York is one of the most diverse places in the world, yet who do you see on the panels? The racial exclusivity of the industry is rarely talked about,” said Allen.  “It makes you wonder why you don’t see more of color on the programming end.”

Allen is of African-American descent and has been a game consumer, game developer and an entrepreneur. He is a featured speaker on video game panels across the country providing much needed advocacy in a field that where high level encouragement to Hispanic and black people is lacking.

What’s next for Allen?

Allen’s  production company, NuChallenger,  is currently developing “Treachery in Beatdown City.”  Allen’s company has a stated goal to break down business barriers  for women and minorities.

“I have found that rant heavy, negative criticism at its base just has no place here anymore. Constructive criticism that will of course include negatives will continue to be posted, though possibly in a different manner than before.” Allen also announced, “An initiative that I will be rolling out in the coming year (will be) aimed at encouraging games consumers to become creators themselves. More on that will be announced soon.”

For more information about Shawn Allen and his latest game, click here.