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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
10 FEBRUARY 2012

PANDORA: Australian Web Archive

"PANDORA, Australia's Web Archive, is a growing collection of Australian online publications, established initially by the National Library of Australia in 1996, and now built in collaboration with nine other Australian libraries and cultural collecting organisations."

(National Library of Australia)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 MAY 2011

Connected Histories: digital resources of early modern and 19th century Britain

"Connected Histories brings together a range of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search that allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates, as well as the ability to save, connect and share resources within a personal workspace."

(University of Hertfordshire, University of London, University of Sheffield, 2011)

Fig.1 "The photograph shows the beach at Cromer in Norfolk, which features in Emma (1816) as 'The best of all the sea–bathing places'. A small fishing village then, noted for its crabs, by 1887 the railway had arrived. The pier (which still stands) was built in 1901." Martin (Manuscripts Cataloguer), Caird Library

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TAGS

19th century2011Bodleian LibraryBritainBritish history • British Origins • Connected Histories • conservationcultural heritagecultural representationsdigital heritagedigital resourcesdigitisationearly modern periodEconomic and Social Research Council • eContent • everyday lifefamily historygenealogy • Higher Education Digitisation Service • history • HRI Online Publications • Humanities Research Institute • ICT • Irish Origins • JISC • John Johnson Collection • John Strype • Leverhulme Trust • London Lives • manuscriptmapsmuseologynational cultural heritage online • National Wills Index • nineteenth century • Origins.net • personal workspace • plates • preservation • printed ephemera • ProQuest • Scots Origins • searchsearch toolshare resources • Stuart London • taxonomyUKUniversity of HertfordshireUniversity of LondonUniversity of NottinghamUniversity of Sheffield

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 JANUARY 2004

Their Things Spoken: a catalogue of Their belongings

"Their Things Spoken by Agnes Hegedüs refers to the gulf between the conservation and valuation of officially recognized cultural representations and the information content of bearers of personal significance originating in apparently unimportant, unknown biographies. The artist distributed among visitors to the ZKM a leaflet asking, 'Why not put your favorite object in a museum?' This question stimulated the museum visitors to reflect upon rituals of appreciating and keeping, and to relate the museum exhibits to the relics to which they attribute private significance.

Using a Polaroid camera to document contributors and objects, and a tape recorder for their stories and comments, she imposed no restrictions on the choice of personal favorites.

Her concern was to warehouse the portraits of people and objects in the most neutral possible way, so that every image and statement is equally valid. The DVD–ROM storage medium allows the body of contributions to be archived exactly as they were documented. The stories stand for themselves and, like an atlas of everyday life, show a random collection of people whose relationship to the world is revealed through the objects they identify with."
(Ursula Frohne)

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