BZU Spotlights: Truman Simpson
Name: Truman Simpson
Location: Oakland, CA
Job Title: Lead Technical Artist
Tell us about joining the BZU and what the group has brought to you and your career?
I’m a Zynga boomerang. I was around back in the Zynga pre-IPO days, and I left to pursue some learning opportunities. I stayed in touch with a lot of the folks I worked with – and one of those friends, Keith Bullock, is the reason I reapplied. So my network, and proven work history, afforded me the opportunity to come back.
What does it mean to you to be a person of color in technology and gaming?
I feel there is an odd, and often unspoken, pressure being a person of color in the gaming industry. I think it stems from the fact that to SOME people, I will be one of the few black people that they interact with on any substantial level, and thus become a representative for an entire group of people – which adds to the general complexity of social interaction that most people experience. That said, I enjoy people and always try to present as the most genuine form of myself.
What is it like being diverse in gaming?
I don’t know any other way… 😉 but I will say there is something magical about speaking to younger generations of kids, in and around where I grew up, and seeing them realize that people who look like them make video games.
What is Zynga doing to empower persons of color in the workplace?
I think creating groups like the BZU, as well as spotlighting individuals and efforts, breaks some of the stigma around somewhat sensitive topics, such as race. So to keep it going, if ANYONE ever wants to chat about anything – even sensitive stuff – feel free to reach out. 🙂