Aboriginal Youth Designing Video Games

While conducting research for my study, I came across a website from the Rochester Institute of Technology which describes a pilot workshop conducted by the Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC). In this pilot program, Native Youth from the Mohawk Kahnawake Survival School help to design videogames based on traditional stories from their tribe.  Based out of Montreal, the goal of AbTeC is to encourage Aboriginal use of online and media based technologies to strengthen Native cultures. In addition, AbTeC  is committed to encouraging the participation of Aboriginal Youth in taking part creating video games and virtual reality worlds. To meet these goals, AbTeC has created a video game/virtual reality world workshop (Skins) for Aborginal Youth to teach them how to design, program and create video games and virtual worlds. Members of the academic world, artists and the technologically advanced worked together to help build the curriculum and discuss “the role of new media technologies in North American Indigenous cultural production, outlining curriculum for teaching First Nations youth how to use such technologies, and testing curriculum.” In 2008-2009 at Kahnawake Survival School, AbTeC observed and recorded the following:

  1. Students were interested in integrating stories from their communities in digital games
  2. They respected but modified or expanded the stories where appropriate, and
  3. They were capable of translating those stories through the complex means for developing a video game

For a more comprehensive look at the Skins project follow the link below.

http://www.rit.edu/gccis/gameeducationjournal/skins-designing-games-first-nations-youth

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