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The toughest challenge in video games isn’t reaching the highest level. It’s finding black characters


LOOK AGAIN: The protagonist for Mafia 3, Lincoln Clay, is African-American, a rarity for characters in video games.

AS SUMMER dwindled to a close and students returned to school, many gamers were eagerly awaiting October 7, when Mafia 3 would hit U.S. shelves. Six years in the making, it was one of the most highly anticipated video games of 2016. The game takes place in 1968, in the crime-ridden city of New Bordeaux—a fictional version of New Orleans with bayous, muscle cars and French Quarter–style balconies. Reviewers have praised Mafia 3’s intelligent storytelling, elaborately detailed scenes and a refreshing open-world gameplay that allows players to shape their environment. But others were looking forward to the game’s arrival for a different reason: Its protagonist, Lincoln Clay, is African-American.

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