Author Archives: Elizabeth LaPensée

Indigenously-Determined Games of the Future

Originally printed November 2014 in kimiwan zine: issue 8: Indigenous Futurisms
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A clear screen clouds over with pink-blue sheen like a sunrise over lake water.
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 [...]

A Primer for Aspiring Indigenous Game Developers

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.

On the Stand Against the Custer’s Revenge Remake

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 [...]

Indigenous Representations in Assassin’s Creed III

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?
Change!

Native Representations in Video Games

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 [...]

SSI: The Skins Summer Institute

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 [...]

Native Steampunk: The Path Without End

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.

Animism and the Beauty of Animation

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 [...]

Rallying at imagineNATIVE

I usually measure years by the academic calendar–the beginning of Fall is the start of another year. There’s nothing better than seeing your accomplishments from past years acknowledged in the midst of working on new projects that you’re excited to finish and show. I’m wrapped up with creative work right now and looking forward to [...]

Skins @ FuturePlay

I recently presented “Skins 1.0: A Curriculum for Designing Games with First Nations Youth” at FuturePlay 2010, which happens alongside GDC Canada in Vancouver, BC. The presentation was well-received and the paper will be published in ACM Proceedings.