It’s All Relational: Indigenous Video Game as Storytelling Praxis

Wao Kanaka

Image caption: Skins 6.0/He Au Hou 2 Game Still (courtesy of the author)

We'd like to share the details about a video game-related talk happening in the library next week.

It’s All Relational: Indigenous Video Game as Storytelling Praxis 
Michelle Lee Brown, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
October 9, 12:30-2:00 pm
Public Talk
Gallery Lab, Hatcher North

For three weeks in the Summer of 2017 and 2018, a group of primarily Indigenous students from diverse backgrounds and levels of experience came together to create a video game based on Hawaiian mo’olelo or storytelling. The Skins 5.0 and 6.0 workshops resulted from the collaboration of multiple organizations including The Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF), Kanaeokana, and Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace. These groups contributed funding, curriculum, educators and enthusiasm to provide the physical and mental space necessary for the creation of these relationship networks. This presentation is an exploration of the intersections of video game building, meaningful learning, Indigenous and Western cultures through relation-oriented ontologies - rather than aspect- or object- oriented ones. From the tech that is used to the land and waters the event is hosted on - these connections matter, weaving networks of relations across digital and physical heterotopic borders.

Author Bio:

Michelle Lee Brown studies Indigenous political praxis and futures through Indigenous designers’ video games, graphic novels, and machinima in the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawai'i - Mānoa. She has published peer-reviewed work on the Never Alone video game, a methods chapter on Indigenous political theory approaches to video game research, and “Liminal” – a comic in the forthcoming Relational Constellation collection from MSU Press and Native Realities Press. She is currently working on a VR project on water and relationality, and a comic based on multiple levels of impostor syndrome.