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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
03 JANUARY 2013

The Value of Culture: Two Cultures

"Melvyn Bragg considers the 150–year history of the Two Cultures debate. In 1959 the novelist C.P. Snow delivered a lecture in Cambridge suggesting that intellectual life had become divided into two separate cultures: the arts and the humanities. The lecture is still celebrated for the furore it provoked – but Snow was returning to a battleground almost a century old. Melvyn Bragg visits the old Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, scene of many of modern science's greatest triumphs, to put the Two Cultures debate in its historical context – and Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, reveals the influence the Two Cultures debate had on his development as a scientist."

(Melvyn Bragg, 2013)

"The Value of Culture: Two Cultures", Radio broadcast, Episode 3 of 5, Duration: 42 minutes, First broadcast: Wednesday 02 January 2013, Presenter/Melvyn Bragg, Producer/Thomas Morris for the BBC Radio 4, UK.

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TAGS

1959 • all matters which most concern us • American education • American schools • artistic intellectuals • arts and humanitiesarts education • British education • C P Snow • Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge • Charles Percy Snow • civilisationClassicalclassicscommerce • cultural agenda • cultural high ground • cultureCulture and Anarchydisciplinary protectionism • editorial control • education system • elites • experimental teachingF R Leavis • free thought • German education • German schools • GreekH G Wellshabitshigh culture • illiteracy of scientists • intellectual life • John Tyndall • knowledgeLatin • literary intellectuals • manufacturingmaterialismMatthew ArnoldMelvyn Braggmodern sciencemodern society • Paul Nurse • quality of education • Rede Lecture • reliable official knowledge • Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts Manufactures and Commerce • RSA • schoolingsciencesciences and humanitiesscientific age • scientific culture • scientific education • scientific naturalism • scientific revolution • scientific teaching • scientists • Second Law of Thermodynamics • shared languagesocial class • speaking the same language • stock notions • study of perfection • technological culture • technology • the best which has been thought and said in the world • the classics • The Value of Culture (radio) • Thomas Huxley • traditional culturetwin pillarstwo cultures • Two Cultures debate • two separate cultures

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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