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26 NOVEMBER 2014

Never Alone: Could a Video Game Help to Preserve Inuit Culture?

"'Kunuuksaayuka,' an Iñupiaq tale that was recounted by the late Iñupiaq storyteller Robert Nasruk Cleveland. In its traditional incarnation, the tale recounts the adventures of a boy – the product of a nomadic society – who goes on a quest to save his community from an apocalyptic blizzard. After securing the consent of Cleveland’s daughter, Minnie Aliitchask Gray, the development team in conjunction with representatives from the Iñupiat community reworked the story until they settled on a script that would become the basis for 'Never Alone.' (The game’s Iñupiaq sub-title, 'Kisima Ingitchuna,' translates to 'I am Not Alone.')".

(Simon Parkin, 17 November 2014, The New Yorker)

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TAGS

2014adventure gameAlaskaAlaska Native peoplearctic circle • arctic fox • atmospheric presence • aurora borealis • backstory • Black River People • blizzard • call on spirits • coldcompanion charactercontemporary interpretation • Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) • cultural heritage • cultural insights • cultural myths • cultural traditions • cultural translation • digital storytelling • E-Line Media • endless blizzard • engaged learning • environment as antagonistfemale protagonist • folkloric fantasy characters • folktale • foxindie gamesIndigenous peopleinteractive playInuit • Inupiaq • Kisima Ingitchuna (video game) • Kunuuksaayuka • magical bola • Minnie Gray • native tribes • Never Alone (video game) • nomadic cultures • nomadic people • Nuna (character) • oral traditionpuzzle platformer • Robert Nasruk Cleveland • Sean Vesce • spiritsSteamsurvival storyThe New Yorker • traditional art • treacherous landscape • Upper One Games • video gamevideo games and Indigenous peoplewind

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 DECEMBER 2012

Journey (Video Game)

"The studio describes it as an interactive parable, the story of a lone traveller and their path through life told in the form of a voyage that starts in the vast expanses of a desert and ends ... well, to tell you how it ends would spoil it. You think you know what Journey is going to be about after the first five minutes, but you don't. I came to it expecting something charming, visually stunning and perhaps even mildly edifying. I left thinking that it may well be, in many ways, the best video game I have ever played.

You play a traveller swaddled in red robes, beginning atop a desert sand dune with a view of a shining mountain on the horizon. You're given no direction; instead you're guided by the natural impulse to move towards that looming, distant beacon. Control is intentionally simple and unobtrusive; you can only walk, jump and sing, but Journey still crafts some astounding scenarios from those bare gameplay ingredients. It has you surfing down sand dunes in the fading light, scaling towers, flying on the wind and cowering in underground ruins as you slowly uncover what could have happened to the civilisation that must have once lived there."

(Keza MacDonald, 13 March 2012, The Guardian)

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2012abandoned ruinsancient cityatmospheric presence • Austin Wintory • barren land • beacon • clothcontinuous • crevice • cutscene • desertdesolate space • endless desert • environment as antagonist • float through the air • floating in spaceflyinggame worldheros journeyhorizonindie game • interactive parable • Journey (2012) • lone traveller • mountain • musical chime • natural impulse • open worldPlaystation 3quest • reach the summit • redrobe • robed figure • ruins • sand dune • scarf • smooth spacesnowSony Computer Entertainmentstone • Thatgamecompany • timelessnesstower • underground ruins • video gamevoyagewindwordless

CONTRIBUTOR

Guannan (cassie) Du
17 NOVEMBER 2008

Theo Jansen: Strandbeests

"Dutch artist Theo Jansen has been working for 16 years to create sculptures that move on their own in eerily lifelike ways. Each generation of his "Strandbeests" is subject to the forces of evolution, with successful forms moving forward into new designs. Jansen's vision and long–term commitment to his wooden menagerie is as fascinating to observe as the beasts themselves.

His newest creatures walk without assistance on the beaches of Holland, powered by wind, captured by gossamer wings that flap and pump air into old lemonade bottles that in turn power the creatures' many plastic spindly legs. The walking sculptures look alive as they move, each leg articulating in such a way that the body is steady and level. They even incorporate primitive logic gates that are used to reverse the machine's direction if it senses dangerous water or loose sand where it might get stuck."
(Wired News)

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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