Meet the creative: Chelsa Lauderdale – Discover

Meet the creative: Chelsa Lauderdale – Discover

  • Apple
  • June 1, 2020
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  • 5 minutes read


When writer Chelsa Lauderdale created characters for “The Elementalists,” an interactive story of the game. Optionshe wanted one in particular to have it all: a fantastic look, an enviable talent, a heart of gold.

In other words, everything you would want in a potential love interest who is also a magician.

Lauderdale impregnated him with real depth. As a student at a university for people with talent for magic, Griffin Langley can cast spells, but as a black man he struggles with the expectations of his race and gender.

The more time you spend with Griffin, the more he will open up to you.

The more time you spend with Griffin, the more he will open up to you.

All of this is part of their writing process Options. “One of the first things we asked ourselves was, ‘Which communities are we serving the least?’ says Lauderdale. “What can we do to make sure people see themselves in this?”

When the work started, I wasn’t sure how far the stories would go, which presented players with different narrative options and allowed them to choose how everything unfolds.

She had recently decided to cut her hair short and grow what she calls “afro baby” after a conflicted relationship with straighteners and dyes. “I remember asking if it was okay to include a story about how a character learned to love their natural hair,” she says.

Earlier there was this idea that black men should not show weakness. This can be a huge burden.

The team accepted the idea. “Since then I’ve tried to insert small pieces of my experience,” he says. For Chelsa, Griffin brings the real-world experiences of many people to virtual life and offers an alternative to how black men are usually portrayed in games. “There’s usually this idea that black men should be tough, they shouldn’t show weakness. This can have a huge weight on people’s mental health and their relationships.”

Lauderdale began his career early.

Lauderdale began his career early. “I got a writing assignment in fourth grade and I haven’t really stopped since,” he says.

Griffin is the first character to greet you when you arrive at the magical university, and he takes you warmly under his wing. Throughout your courtship, she is slowly revealing her struggles and together they address identity issues head on.

“He’s divided between his tough looks and his sweet personality, the wishes of his parents and his,” he says. “I think that’s a common feeling in the black community.”

Stories can perpetuate stereotypes or change narratives.

Chelsa is writing more Options stories about identity as well as youth fiction that explores female friendship and community.

“Stories can perpetuate stereotypes or they can change narratives,” he says. “It really depends on the people who write them.”


Originally posted on the App Store.



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