November 16, 2023

Code My Crown: Dove Co-Launches Pioneering Guide For Coding Black Hair In Video Games


Dove has launched the world’s first and complete guide for coding natural hair in video games with Code My Crown.

The guide was created by Black artists in partnership with the Open Source Afro Hair Library.

Black Hair In Video Games

Despite all the technological advancements in video games, depicting natural hair and protective styles is still limited, highly stereotypical, and not representative.

According to Dove, 85% of Black gamers believe video games poorly represent textured hair. Data also shows that 91% of Black gamers are eager to see themselves as characters reflecting their experiences.

Dove co-founded the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Coalition in 2019 to help advocate for ending race-based hair discrimination.

“When Black hair is absent from the games we play or are consistently low-quality, it communicates that Black players and our culture are an afterthought,” said A.M. Darke, Lead Code my Crown Contributor and Founder of the Open Source Afro Hair Library, in a press release.

Code My Crown

Code My Crown is an instructional guide for coders and developers to code more diverse, true-to-life depictions of Black hairstyles in 3D.

Dove has joined forces with the Open Source Afro Hair Library and enlisted a team of Black 3D artists, animators, programmers, and academics from around the world and across the Black diaspora.

Together, the partnership identified the top natural and protective hairstyles currently missing or misrepresented in video games.

They will now develop 15 original hair sculpts that can lay the foundation for hundreds of virtual hair possibilities.

Each sculpture comes with step-by-step instructions, 360-degree photo mapping, and cultural insight so that any developer can better model and represent textured hair and styles in the digital world.

“At Dove, we believe every single person should see their beauty represented in the world around them – this is no different for the virtual world,” said Leandro Barreto, Senior Vice President of Global Dove Masterbrand.

“The importance of accurately and respectfully depicting textured hair in video games cannot be overstated; we are proud to play a small part in taking action to set a new standard for diversity and representation in video games.”

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.