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'Halo Infinite' Introduces Black History Month-Inspired Shaders

Source: 343 Industries / HALO Infinite

It’s Black History Month, which means companies are doing their best to show how inclusive and down for the Black cause they truly are. Halo Infinite studio 343 Industries’ attempt to celebrate BHM is getting clowned on social media.

Don’t get it twisted; we know there was goodwill in 343 Industries’ attempt to celebrate Black History Month by introducing armor shaders to commemorate the annual celebration of Black excellence.

But, man, we understand why the jokes are flying across the timeline.

Gamers can now add bold green, gold, and maroon colors, typically associated with African country flags, plus kente cloth, the West African traditional textile as a pattern on their Spartan armor.

To announce the new Black History Month-inspired shaders, the Halo account on X, formerly Twitter, dropped a photo of a Spartan with all the custom shaders, which did not land well.

Immediately, comparisons to A-Train, the only Black superhero on The Seven in the hit Amazon Prime series, The Boys, hit timelines.

In that particular episode, Jessie T. Usher’s character got an African-themed super suit to gain the approval of Black people, but 343 Industries’ attempt was nowhere near as egregious in terms of pandering. However, you still can’t unsee it, especially when you compare A-Train’s costume.

The Verge’s Ash Parrish confirmed that with her well-timed response to the Halo account tweet.

Xbox’s Other BLM-Inspired Initiatives

The announcement of the Black History Month-inspired Halo Infinite shaders was just a small part of a more significant initiative that Xbox announced to celebrate BHM.

The Microsoft-owned company announced a partnership with the Gameheads development program and other amazing Black History Month initiatives.

  • Announcing a partnership with Gameheads to showcase games created by students (ages 11-25) who have gone through Gameheads’ game development program. Gameheads is a California-based non-profit that uses game design and development to engage, prepare and train low-income youth and youth of color for careers in the video games and technology industry. Check out the games, and how you can play them here.
    • As part of the partnership, Xbox also donated to Gameheads to support their commitment to diversifying the pipeline in the gaming industry & empowering the next generation of game developers.
  • Sharing a collection of games available on Xbox, made for and by the Black community, including spotlighting Black game developers from the ID@Xbox Developer Acceleration Program who, with Xbox’s support, are increasing Black representation and elevating underrepresented voices in the games they create.  
  • Encouraging players to donate Microsoft Rewards points to both Gameheads and/or Cxmmunity.
  • Sharing Xbox Ambassador stories, including tips they have for how to stay safe when gaming, and more!

By heading here, you can learn more about how Xbox and Gamesheads are working together to amplify Black voices in the gaming industry.

Still, Xbox, you are going to get these jokes. You can see more reactions to the Blackety, Black Spartan armor in the gallery below.

1. LOL

2. Won’t be shocked to see this at New York Comic Con

3. Howling

4. Chill

5. Someone likes it

6. Intriguing

7. Wait a minute