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Which clippings match 'Spiritual Practices' keyword pg.1 of 1
19 JANUARY 2016

Skins: Designing Games with First Nations Youth

"Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), based out of Obx Labs at Concordia University in Montreal and directed by Lewis and Skawennati Fragnito, is a network of academics, artists, and technologists that encourages Indigenous participation in online culture and exploration of new media technology. The main objective of the AbTeC research network is to discover, define, and implement methods by which Indigenous people can use networked communication technology to strengthen our cultures. In an effort to overcome the economic, social, and cultural factors that influence the low rate of Indigenous participation in the making of new media and encourage Indigenous representation in digital games and virtual worlds specifically, AbTeC proposed to conduct Skins, a game/virtual world development workshop for Aboriginal youth that teaches them design programming, art, animation, and audio. ...

In conducting Skins, our goal is to encourage First Nations youth to be more than consumers of digital media; rather, we wish to show them how they themselves can be creators who can approach games with a critical perspective and from within their own cultural context. We are motivated by the possibilities of digital games and virtual environments for Indigenous peoples as well as correcting or adding to representations of Indigenous peoples in commercial games. Indigenous peoples' survival, recovery, development, and self-determination hinges on the preservation and revitalization of languages, social and spiritual practices, social relations, and arts [1]. Digital games and virtual environments, with their unique combination of story, design, code, architecture, art, animation, and sound [2], provide a rich medium though which to explore different strategies for pursuing such preservation and revitalization. For example, Thornton Media's RezWorld is a virtual environment for learning the Cherokee language. It has even been argued that the fluid, open, and networked characteristics of modern digital media make it particularly useful as a tool for Aboriginal storytelling, with Loretta Todd, Cree/Métis filmmaker and Director of the Aboriginal Media Arts Lab, suggesting 'the experience of cyberspace offers the reversal of narrative as derived from storytelling, a return to oral tradition' [3]. Furthermore, due to the radical decrease in the costs of the means of production and distribution, digital games and virtual worlds present Indigenous people with a powerful opportunity to widely (or narrowly) communicate stories in which we shape our own representation."

(Beth Aileen Lameman and Jason Edward Lewis, 2011)

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TAGS

2011Aboriginal culture • Aboriginal Media Arts Lab • Aboriginal storytelling • Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC) • Aboriginal youth • Bart Simon • Beth Aileen Lameman • CanadaCelia Pearce • Cherokee language • Christian Beauclair • community participatory project • Concordia University • Cree • cultural representations • development workshop • digital games • digital media and learning • Dogrib • First NationsFirst Nations youth • Haudenosaunee • Indigenous cultural production • Indigenous participation • Indigenous peopleindigenous peoples • Indigenous representation in digital games • Indigenous representation in virtual worlds • Iroquois • Jason Edward Lewis • Journal of Game Design and Development Education • Katherine Isbister • Ken Finney • language preservation • Loretta Todd • Louise Profeit • making new media • Metis • Mohawk • Montreal • more than consumers • Myron Lameman • Nacho Nyak Dun • Nehiraw • new media artist • new media technologiesNorth American • Obx Labs at Concordia University • oral traditionresearch network • revitalisation of languages • RezWorld • Richard Van Camp • self-determination • Skawennati Fragnito • spiritual practices • Steve Loft • Steve Sanderson • Thornton Media • traditional culturevideo game designvideo games and Indigenous peoplevirtual environmentsvirtual worlds

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
15 JANUARY 2010

NativeWeb: fostering communication among Indigenous peoples

"NativeWeb is a project of many people. Our vision touches ancient teachings and modern technology. Our purpose: to provide a cyber–place for Earth's indigenous peoples.

As access to the Web grows and indigenous peoples reach out through cyber–space, NativeWeb will grow also. Through NativeWeb, indigenous people (and peoples) become visible to each other and themselves and organize actions in a multitude of local, national, and international institutions. The shape of indigenous social action changes as wider audiences are created and especially as the means of creating audiences become the means by which audiences become actors. From Chiapas to Nunavut and from Samiland to Thailand, indigenous communities widen, coalesce, and interact as they work, communicate, and organize via the Internet.

Indigenous Peoples have much in common amidst great diversity: spiritual practices celebrating inter–relatedness of all Life on Earth; and historical suffering at the hands of industrialized nations and corporate entities. NativeWeb is concerned with all this: indigenous literature and art, legal and economic issues, land claims and new ventures in self–determination.

Our purpose is not to 'preserve,' in museum fashion, some vestige of the past, but to foster communication among peoples engaged in the present and looking toward a sustainable future for those yet unborn."

(NativeWeb, Inc.)

Fig.1 Sami people from Finland (http://www.flickr.com/photos/helga_ni/)

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TAGS

AboriginalAotearoa New Zealand • Austronesian • Chiapas • engagementFinlandidentityIndigenousIndigenous people • industrialised nations • Maori • NativeWeb • Nunavut • PacificPacific Rimpastpostcolonialpreservation • Sami people • Samiland • self-determinationsocial actionspiritual practicessustainable futureThailand

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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