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Building Black Better: Getting Representation Right at Behaviour

Serving as a Senior Community Manager on Dead by Daylight is a dream job for Dork*, who joined the team at Behaviour’s Montreal office in May 2023.  

Dork, who hails from North Carolina and became a huge fan of Dead by Daylight during the COVID-19 pandemic, remembers “nerding out everywhere” when she first arrived at Behaviour.  “I melted when I saw the locker. Oh my God, it was amazing,” she says.  

Helping her to excel in her role is a natural compassion and sense of empathy honed by her previous career as a service coordinator for people with intellectual disabilities. 
“I absolutely love being there for the player,” she says. “I love having those moments of hearing what brought them into the game and hearing about issues they might have and seeing if those are areas that we could make more positive for our players.” 

Creating the you you want to see 

One aspect of Dead by Daylight that Dork has helped to improve is the game’s representation of Black characters and the cosmetics designed for them. As a Black woman and gamer, representation has been an issue of concern to her since she first discovered video games years ago with her brother. 

“My brother and I have always played games together – mainly fantasy games where you get to create your own character and enter into its world as the you you want to see,” Dork says. “But in a lot of games it’s very hindering when the options for Black players are limited to, like, four hairstyles. The Black community even has nicknames for them – the Freedom ‘Fro, the Jailhouse Cornrows, the Killmonger, or just bald. You see these four in almost every game!”  

Thankfully, progress is being made and Dork says games are getting better at representing Black diversity. “They’re feeling a lot more inclusive, like in skin tone selection, and I do appreciate that the industry is making strides in terms of providing more options, more selection, more creativity. You’re even seeing Black female protagonists! I’m excited to see myself as a full game protagonist,” she says. 

Getting representation right

Getting representation right is crucial, Dork says, and that’s something she’s been happy to help with at Behaviour. As a Senior Community Manager, it’s her job to hear what players are saying and flag concerns that may need addressing. The experience she brings to the job as a Black woman has come in handy, as it did when a streamer raised concerns recently about a cosmetic introduced for the Survivor Élodie Rakoto. 

“One of our Fog Whisperers posted on Twitter about a hair piece that had been introduced for Élodie as part of our Cozy Break Collection. It was meant to be a satin bonnet, which is something Black women wear to protect our hair while sleeping – the silk lining keeps moisture in our hair,” Dork explains. “The actual asset, however, looked more like a head wrap or a turban and the texture didn’t look like silk.” 

Dork said it left the streamer and others with the impression that the bonnet was designed without Black consultation, so she raised it with her managers and explained the history of the hair piece with examples of how it should look.   

“Their response was like, “My gosh – thank you so much,” she says. “There wasn’t time to fix it, so it was renamed a scarf, its bio was changed, and the texture was updated to make it look more accurate.” 

Learning our lessons 

It was a learning experience for the team, and Dork says she hopes she can continue to provide input moving forward to help ensure that assets made for the game’s Black characters are accurate from the start. “There’s definitely an openness and a willingness on Dead by Daylight to have these conversations,” she says. “The product team lead said she really enjoyed my impromptu history lesson on the bonnet and why it’s so important to the community.” 

Dave Richard, Dead by Daylight’s Senior Creative Director, says a culture of fellowship is one of the game’s founding tenets and representing the game’s diverse community is a cornerstone commitment. Input from the Dead by Daylight team and even external consultants are key to getting it right, but sometimes mistakes still find their way into the game. “Sometimes we just don’t see them – they’re unconscious – and being more aware of that is vital,” Dave says. “What’s important is that missteps are acknowledged, fixed, and serve to educate.” 

On the whole, Dork says Behaviour is on the right path and noted how good it feels to scroll through the list of Survivors and Killers in Dead by Daylight and see so much diversity, even in terms of personality. “I mained Claudette for a long time, partly because of her outfits but also because she’s a soft Black woman. She’s not the stereotypical strong, boisterous, take-no-shit Black woman that the media tend to prefer. Our community is definitely entering an era where you can be soft and that’s OK; You can like different things and that’s reflected in Dead by Daylight.” 

There is something for everyone in Dead by Daylight and across Behaviour’s games, and that really makes for a deeper connection with players, Dork believes. “I love that Behaviour is making diverse worlds. Seeing myself in games and making sure others who are discovering games or coming into the gaming industry do so is something I’m passionate about. I know I feel it more when a character looks like me, I feel more invested, more connected, instead of just being the eyes behind someone else’s story.”  

*Dork is our Senior Community Manager’s online persona. We maintained it here for privacy reasons. 

About  Behaviour Interactive
Behaviour Interactive is the largest Canadian gaming studio, with more than 1,300 employees worldwide. Behaviour is best known for its flagship franchise, the multiplayer survival horror game Dead by Daylight™, which has entertained 60 million players across multiple platforms. The studio is currently expanding its portfolio of original IP with multiple projects, including the acclaimed building and raiding title Meet Your Maker. Behaviour has also established itself as one of the world’s leading providers of external development services. The company has partnered with many of the gaming industry’s leaders, including Microsoft, Sony, EA, Warner, Netflix, and Take-Two, among many others. Over 30 years, Behaviour has developed an unparalleled, award-winning culture. The company was named one of the Best Places to Work in Canada by, and has been recognized with Deloitte Canada’s Enterprise Fast 15 and Best Managed Company awards. Headquartered in Montreal, Behaviour has expanded its global presence with studios in Toronto (Behaviour Toronto), Seattle (Midwinter Entertainment), the United Kingdom (Behaviour UK – North and Behaviour UK – South) and the Netherlands (Behaviour Rotterdam).   For more information, visit