Game developer, Bahiyya Khan is a strong advocate for marginalised groups. The games she has created have been to raise awareness around issues facing women of colour and many other societal issue you wouldn’t normally hear of in gaming. The 23-year-old says the only way to change some of society’s biggest problems is through education and that’s why she’s making gaming an educational tool and an emotional outlet. In this Q&A we get to know her a little better.
Q: Creatively describe one of your games to a blind or deaf person
A: I can’t answer this question because I would type out about a page. Unless you guys are cool with that? Let me know
Q: If you could only use one colour in all your creations, what colour would it be? And why?
A: Probably grey or black. I think they’re beautiful colours that I would never get bored of working with. Also, I’m EMO so.. Yeah.
Q: If you could take credit for any piece of creation, which one would you claim? Why?
A: I wish I wrote all of the songs on Back On Top by The Front Bottoms and the excellent book, The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy. They both make me feel less alone and if I could do that for myself, well that would be lovely.
Q: According to you, how big of a role does luck play in someone’s success story?
A: It’s a nice idea but I don’t believe in luck.
Q: If you met the president of our country right now and he said “sell me on why I should give you R1 million to use in your creations as you please, in just 10 words” – what would you say?
A: My work helps people feel less alone. (This wouldn’t work, of course)
Q: Creatively, what’s your greatest strength and weakness?
A: Strength? I pay loads of attention to things, so I always have ideas on what I want to make. I never run out of them. Or the links between things, which results in authentic work, I think.
Q: If you had the power to change anything about the country’s creative landscape what would you change?
A: I would make art and its surrounding education more accessible to middle/lower class people of colour.
Q: What would your autobiography be called?
A: Hey There, Demons. It’s Me, Ya Boi.
Q: If you had to live the life of a creative that inspires you, who would it be and why?
A: Probably Brian Sella. He’s the lead singer of The Front Bottoms. He writes excellent songs and is so wholesome and has a nice gf who works in an organisation that’s committed to helping women. Also, I’d get to be in a band with my best friend and make beautiful music videos where I sing about beating my dad with a baseball bat.
Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island, name three things you’d make sure to have with you.
A: Nothing. I’d live off the land and die instantly.