Indigenous Digital Expression
3: Spatial

Week 11: Mapping

Day 1: Overlapping Realities
In Gathering Native Foods (2014), players choose seasonal mini-games from a map, which overlays the outline of what was traditional land with land currently protected by Tulalip tribes. Of course, land has been reduced, and the locations of traditional foods have changed. In this way, Gathering Native Foods uses design to reflect on changes to the land and invoke ongoing values to rectify losses caused by colonization. In contrast to showing changes, Singuistics (2016) opens on a map that is both traditional in regards to teaching as well as accurate as far as mapping is concerned. The menu interface takes the form of a turtle that follows the lines and waterways of the Americas, reinforcing the teachings and placename of Turtle Island.

Day 2: Project Workshop
We will focus on developing our own work as individuals or as groups.

The Good Journey, 2016

The Good Journey, 2016

Week 12: All Directions

Day 1: Dimensional Realities
Just as Dr. Leroy Little Bear and Loretta Todd share—the Internet and three-dimensional representations have always existed for Indigenous people. We have always perceived the connectivity between all and life in many dimensions. Meanwhile, our traditional games are played for enhancing our abilities and actively learning and reinforcing knowledge. With this understanding, we can approach digital media as a medium for self-expression with many possibilities. Virtual reality and augmented reality, in particular, help open perceptions to dimensional realities.

Day 2: Playtesting Workshop
We will share our works and playtest or pair up for readings, then provide feedback for the next iteration of the work.

Assignment: Second Version - 15%
Those of you in the Designer Track should have a rough prototype and those of you in the Researcher Track should have a rough draft.

Along the River of Spacetime, 2016

Along the River of Spacetime, 2016

Week 13: Spacetime

Day 1: Journeying
For us to genuinely be in a place where we are self-determined in digital media, we need to be involved from the very start. We need to bend technology to then guide it all directions for game engines that comprehend our ways of knowing—game engines with Blackfoot physics, game engines with Anishinaabe star knowledge, game engines designed from structures of ongoing non-linear storytelling. What would be possible if we were to imagine creating media in software and tools which we have designed and coded from the ground up? 

Day 2: Project Workshop
We will focus on developing our own work as individuals or as groups.

Week 14: Beadwork Code

Seeding the Stars, 2015

Seeding the Stars, 2015

Day 1: Bitwork Beadwork
As we root ourselves to grow into future work, every idea we hold space for, every design we sketch, every conversation we have contributes to what has been unfolding since time immemorial—media works that shift perspectives and reinforce ours.

We will bead as a way to recognize patterns of coding in parallel to beadwork.

Day 2: Project Workshop
We will focus on developing our own work as individuals or as groups.

Assignment: Third Version - 15%
Those of you in the Designer Track should have a refined prototype and those of you in the Researcher Track should have a final draft.

Week 15: Baamaapii

Days 1 & 2: Presentations
Everyone will share about their overall game and development process.

Assignment: Presenting - 20%
Prepare slides or other materials for a presentation of around 20 minutes that provides an overview of your game design, your development process, changes you have made during iterative development, playtesting results, and next steps such as ideas on revising, funding, and distributing.