As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Turtle Beach is proud to celebrate and spotlight the achievements of Hispanic leaders within our own community through a series of interviews.
To start, we are proud to feature Erin Ashley Simon, multi-media host, producer, streamer, and one of the most prominent female personalities in the industry!
Turtle Beach: What do you think about when you hear “Hispanic Heritage Month”?
Erin Ashley Simon: When I think about Hispanic Heritage Month I think about my Latin and Hispanic communities, I think about my family and the culture they raised me in. The food and the pride I have for my Hispanic and Latin heritage. Every day is a day to celebrate this but, happy to see it as an industry-wide celebration as well.
TB: When you were growing up, who inspired you? Who inspires you today?
EAS: My older brother Ian Simon inspired and still inspires me today. He is actually the reason I started playing video games, I always wanted to play whatever my older brother played. Eventually, I fell in love with video games just from that experience alone. And soon enough, we would get into games like Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Call of Duty, and more. Even now, he is my biggest supporter.
TB: Who are some of your favorite Hispanic/Latin characters in games?
EAS: I have to give massive kudos to Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Not only for bringing a character to life that many of us come to love. But, the Hispanic/Latin representation within the game video Bodegas, Puerto Rican flags, and more were so amazing to see. It was an example of how to truly highlight a character’s cultural background.
TB: How have games with diverse representation impacted you?
EAS: Representation matters. People love playing characters that they can relate to and culture is a relatable point. It impacts me and everyone tremendously! Didn’t always growing up having characters that look like me or have similar culture or heritage.
TB: As someone of Hispanic/Latin heritage, what has your experience been like in the gaming community?
EAS: My experience with Latin and Hispanic communities has been amazing! The support from various individuals in those communities, both as industry people and non-industry people, has been beautiful to see. Granted, there are not so good experiences but for me, it is important to focus on the positives and especially to celebrate my culture. The support and love have been beautiful to see.
TB: What is one thing you think the gaming community – from developers and publishers to content creators and fans – can do to better the efforts around diversity and inclusion, especially in gaming?
EAS: If your game covers a specific culture or region, make sure to have people from that culture a part of the development of the game. Companies are getting better at that but, a point I want to hone in on more.
TB: What do you want your impact on the world to be?
EAS: I want to change the industry. I want to help change people’s lives. I want to be the representation I wish I had growing up. You never know whose life you can change simply by being you and having the visibility to just be you regardless of what anyone else says. Just be a positive force in this world.