Spreading Indigenous Culture Through Video Games

How does an indigenous culture share its history in a world that's moving away from the paper trail?

Since the 1990s, videos games have been considered an effective tool to engage and educate kids in the classroom. Remember "Oregon Trail"?

Realizing the power of educational video games, the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) is hoping to create videos games that will spread its culture and empower the 10,000 to 12,000 Alaska Natives and American Indians the council serves annually.

At this year's annual Games For Change Festival, CITC and E-Line Media, a publisher of educational game products, announced their joint venture, Upper One Games, LLC—the first indigenous-owned video game company.

The company described its first educational game as a "modern reiteration of the oral tradition." The game, to be released in August 2014, will follow an Inupiat girl in Arctic Alaska as she goes on a journey to discover the area's indigenous culture and stories.

CITC's president and CEO Gloria O'Neill is confident that the new game will continue the oral tradition in a modern world: "Through the art of storytelling in the video gaming world, we get to share Alaska Native culture."

Read more about why progressive educators are bringing video games into the classroom here.


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