When I exhale, points form on the screen in patterns of constellations in a night sky.
When they connect, they reveal syllabics.
Our language is living, just as it always has and always will.
Now dancing on the screen awakened by breath.
I want you to make games because I want to play more Indigenous games, and I believe that we as Indigenous people can contribute to game development in interesting ways. From our teachings to the land we honor, we can express ourselves through determining our own representations and we can also inform game design.
The stand against the Custer’s Revenge Remake was ignited by a conversation with game journalist Daniel Starkey as he was writing “More Than Shamans and Savages: American Indians and Game Development” for US Gamer. When we were talking, there were active downloads of the game available and gameplay footage videos dated 2014, which showed that the game was still being downloaded and played recently.
As a follow-up to the 2011 web-friendly film Native Representations in Videogames, I’ve kept a beat on progress made in Indigenous representations in commercial and independent games. You can catch it in 2012’s web-friendly film Indigenous Representations in Assassin’s Creed III.
So what’s happened?
I finally got around to putting together a short film about Native Representations in Video Games. It’s a little bit academic, a little bit presentation, and a little bit my take on things. There is enough content that I could extend this into a documentary as extensive as Reel Injun by adding more footage, interviewing game developers to explore the origin of the representations, and interviewing Indigenous people who participated in the games as voice over actors. I could also analyze the representations much deeper. As is, it’s a good simple overview to give people information. Read the rest of this entry »
Life has been busy for AbTeC as we prepare for the Skins Summer Institute (SSI) in late July at Concordia University in Montreal. SSI is a two-week intensive workshop for Aboriginal (Indigenous/First Nations/Native) youth that combines instruction in video game design with immersion into Aboriginal stories and storytelling techniques. The workshop covers traditional storytelling as well as important topics in game development including: narrative, art direction, 3D modeling and animation, level design, sound, and programming. Read the rest of this entry »
Finally fed up with the inability of words to capture my interpretation of Native steampunk, I went back to my origins and added a twist. What resulted was an experimental animation made out of imagery that has been in my dreams for a number of years.
As announced in the prestigious e-flux newsletter, our lovely co-director Skawennati’s work will be on display at the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg. The show’s title is “Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years International Exhibition of Contemporary Indigenous Art” and will be taking place from January 22 to May 11. It also features many other infamous Aboriginal artists such as KC Adams and Kent Monkman and is curated by AbTec member Steve Loft.
To find out more about the show, please visit http://plugin.org/
Once again, the AbTeC team submitted work into the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival New Media category. And, yet again, we walked away with the “Best New Media” prize! This time for our video game mod project, along side the students of Kahnawake Survival School, entitled “Otsì:!! Rise of the Kanien’kehá:ka Legends”.
Seen here are co-directors Skawennati Fragnito and Jason E. Lewis accepting the award at the closing awards ceremony. For more information of the project, please visit the website http://otsi.abtec.org/ .
Animism, an animation written by Cree filmmaker Kevin Lee Burton and Zeros2Heroes CEO Matt Toner, which I was Story Editor for, is available for viewing at The Gods’ Lake alternate reality game (ARG) website. It’ll only be up for a short while before it airs on APTN in January. Wow, it’s 2011. The first episode is open for anyone to view, and you can watch all six episodes if you create an account.
Animism tells the story of age-old treachery around the Sacred Site of Gods’ Lake, which was fictionalized as an alternate reality, but is based on Kevin Lee Burton’s interpretation of our sacred indigenous lands. Read the rest of this entry »