Black Girl Gamers founder Jay-Ann Lopez talks inclusivity, gaming music and more

Black Girl Gamers started with a realization. Jay-Ann Lopez, who founded the gaming collective in 2015, looked around and saw a space that didn’t seem to represent her — or the other Black female gamers she was starting to meet. Lopez founded Black Girl Gamers with the simple hope of creating the safe haven she needed. Now, the group — which has more than 7,000 members and more than 26,000 followers on Twitch — has come to mean so much more to so many more people. Lopez says she thinks a lot about stereotypes and the ways she can use her platform to break them down. It’s true in her collective, which has grown in size and popularity while showing others just how diverse the gaming community really can be — when given the chance. Lopez recently partnered with Spotify to curate an all-new gaming playlist, called StartSelect, which is now part of the platform’s Gaming Hub. The playlist, which features artists ranging from Rico Nasty to Goldlink to Avatar: The Last Airbender composer Samuel Kim, is centered around Lopez’s own taste