SonicFox and The Power of Visibility in Gaming

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Does the name SonicFox ring any bells for you? Well if you’re not familiar, he’s the first Evolution champion of Dragon Ball FighterZ. Dominique “SonicFox” McLean is a multi-time winning professional fighting game player, sponsored by team EchoFox.

So why am I writing about SonicFox and what he means to gaming? Well, there’s a lot wrong with videogames. This includes the industry, games, and its surrounding communities(like most geekdoms & society). You’ll find sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, etc on every forum/social media platform and so on. As you can imagine, it causes daily frustrations for minorities and marginalized individuals.

Despite all of this, SonicFox is a very visible example of what’s right within the world of gaming. This is why he has garnered so many fans and so much support.

McLean is also very much a product of our times; he turned his hobby into his profession. He’s only 20 years old and arguably one of the best fighting game players in the world. You could also argue that he’s the face of the fighting game community. Whenever you watch him play it’s pretty obvious how he earned his place. He’s energetic, charismatic, an entertainer, and puts in large amounts of work to win consistently.

People root for him for other reasons as well. Sonic is unapologetic of who he is as a person. He’s black, openly gay, and a furry. Within the space of gaming just being one of these identities can be unpleasant. Yet, here he is encompassing all these identities and living his best life.

The above is a tweet SonicFox sent immediately after his victory. To say to everyone; hey I’m the best and remember I’m gay. This is a pinned tweet, meaning that it’s the first thing you see on his Twitter timeline. Why did he do that? Because he understands full well the importance of visibility — This is who I am and you will respect/recognize this.

Side note: This wasn’t him coming out, this was just a reminder

It’s refreshing to see SonicFox be himself. He fights in a fursuit (without his mask), he tweets furry content (it’s safe for work), regularly shares his thoughts and isn’t shy about sharing his opinions. All of this for all to see as he wins tournament after tournament.

The power of visibility is one where you see someone in a space that isn’t normally all inclusive. Seeing that person reminds/encourages others they can do the same if they wanted to — no questions asked.

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via ESPN.com

Now, it would be a disservice to say SonicFox is the only positive figure within the videogame sphere. There’s many folks out there whom encompass practically every marginalized group focusing on the good. They all in their own unique ways push back on what’s wrong with gaming geek culture. Personally speaking, seeing them gives me hope that things can get better.

Whether you’re a fan or not of Dominique “SonicFox” McLean, his presence is undeniable.

When I get tired of the toxic, tiring, and corrosive nature of gaming I can look forward to seeing him at work. Because my favorite is a queer black furry kicking ass at the highest level.

And to him I say:

I bat for PoCs, marginalized, equality, inclusion & geekdom. I'm warming the bench until coach subs me in. https://linktr.ee/jeffreyrousseau

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