The video game Qalupalik is based off of Inuit mythology. | Image source: qalupalik.com
Today multimedia platforms are being combined with Indigenous teachings, mythology and stories to bring forth exciting new quests in the form of video games. Even the classic Space Invaders got a makeover! Here are six video games paving the way for Indigenous inspired adventures:
1. Honour Water
Scheduled for release in June 2016, Honour Water brings together Anishinaabemowin songs and water teachings in a singing game for healing water. The graphics were created by Elizabeth LaPensée (Anishinaabe/Métis), Ph.D. who uses writing, design, and art in games, comics, and animation as a form of self expression. The songs featured were gifted by Sharon Day and the Oshkii Giizhik Singers. When released it will be available for free on iOS, Android, and other platforms.
Another LaPensée gamer project includes Invaders, which was inspired by the classic arcade game Space Invaders. Invaders uses the art of Steven Paul Judd, and music of Trevino Brings Plenty. This was released in 2015 for web and mobile phone use and was featured at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 2015. Check out this link to download Invaders and for more work done by LaPensée: www.elizabethlapensee.com
Qalupalik is an Inuit mythological creature that kidnaps children who get too close to cracks in the ice. Pinnguaq Technology Inc brings together cultures and stories through the development of games, apps and other software. In this game, players set out on a mission to rescue a sibling who was taken by the Qalupalik. The game is soon to be released in 2016.
4. Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)
Forty Iñupiat Elders, storytellers and community members collaborated with About Upper One Games to develop the game Never Alone. Upper One Games is one of the first Indigenous owned commercial gaming company in the United States. The adventure follows a young Iñupiat girl and an arctic fox, who set out to find the source of an eternal blizzard which threatens the survival of everything they have ever known. Buy here: neveralonegame.com/game
5. Spirits of Spring
Minority Media is an independent gaming company that has been widely praised lately for its introduction of a new game genre: empathy games. Spirits of Spring is Minority’s second empathy game and formerly called Silent Enemy. It follows the story of three young Indigenous boys Chiwatin, Rabbit and Bear who have to hunt down giant mysterious crows that stole their spirits. Themes explored are bullying and using the power of friendship to overcome it as players get to go on adventures set in the Northern area of Quebec.
Skins is a series of lessons and workshops taught by Computation Arts graduates, students and faculty staff from Concordia University with Indigenous mentors as cultural consultants. While in the workshops, students team up to create videogames based on Indigenous mythology, teachings and lessons. Check out this link to download the games: skins.abtec.org