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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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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
11 SEPTEMBER 2013

Shelter: a video game about a mother badger struggling to survive

"In Shelter you experience the wild as a mother badger sheltering her cubs from harm. On their journey they get stalked by a bird of prey, encounter perils of the night, river rapids crossings, big forest fires and the looming threat of death by starvation."

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2013adventure game • badger • badger cub • bird of prey • creaturesdangerous environmentsenvironment as antagonistfire • force of nature • forestforest fireharmindie gameindie gamesjourneyliving creature • Might and Delight (video game studio) • mothernatural environmentnature • papery style • peril • Retro Family (musicians) • rivershelter • Shelter (game) • sheltering • single-player • starvation • Steamsurvivalsurvival storySweden • The Circle (picture book) • third-personthreatUnity (game engine)video gamevideo game artvisual stylewildworld of the story

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 JANUARY 2009

Indie games: audience not just authenticity

"Once upon a time, not long ago, it looked like bedroom coding was dead – at least as a commercial pursuit. The nineties brought in a growing obsession with detailed 3D visuals, requiring ever–larger teams of ever more specialised coders, artists and designers. And while an indie gaming scene continued to flourish online, the fruits of those labours were largely unseen and unappreciated by mainstream gamers.

But a lot has happened over the last three years. Vitally, Microsoft started trawling the indie scene for content to fill its Xbox Live Arcade service. Sony and Nintendo soon followed suit, resulting in the likes of Braid, World of Goo, Mutant Storm and Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People becoming key downloadable releases. At the same time, the growing PC casual gaming scene, together with the arrival of the iPod and iPhone as fully–fledged gaming platforms, has built an audience that clamours for graphically simple puzzle and word games. In a sense, casual gaming has legitimised non–naturalistic, often 2D, visuals and intuitive gameplay, reclaiming videogame culture for the masses.

Bedroom coding is back."
(Keith Stuart, 6 January 2009, The Guardian)

[This represents a broadening of the rather narrow trajectory of hyper–realism that has preoccupied the games development industry since its adoption by computer science advocates. This departure can be seen as a strengthening of voices questioning the authority of modes of representation derived (seemingly unquestioningly) from a default Modernist position e.g. favouring authenticity and fidelity over audience and interpretation.]

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3DanimationaudienceBraidcasual gamingcommunication designdesigndigital mediadistributiongameshyperrealismindie gamesinnovationinteractive narrativeiPhoneiPodlow-fimultimedia • Mutant Storm • non-naturalistic • publishingrealismSteam • Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People • World of Goo • Xbox Live Arcade

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2008

Steam: online game distribution platform

"Steam is a pioneering online gaming platform that provides the ability to distribute games and other content directly to more than 15 million gamers around the world. Steam opens up new channels of distribution and allows for non–traditional product offerings while increasing profit margins to content creators."
(Valve Corporation)

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distribution • distribution platform • gamegamesindie gamesSteam • Valve Corporation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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