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Meaningful Play 2016 at Michigan State University

Session Information

TitleFrom 8-Bit Invasion to Thunderbird Elation: Indigenous Game Design

Elizabeth LaPenseeElizabeth LaPensée , Ph.D. expresses herself through writing, design, and art in games, comics, and animation. She is Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish, living near the Great Lakes. Most recently, she designed and programmed Invaders (2015), a remix of the arcade classic Space Invaders inspired by art from Steven Paul Judd. She is currently working on Honour Water (2016), an Anishinaabe singing game for healing the water.

Her dissertation in Interactive Arts and Technology from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia shares experiences from the Indigenous social impact game Survivance (2011), which encourages ongoing healing through storytelling and creating art. Continuing this work, she was the Postdoctoral Associate for the University of Minnesota's Research for Indigenous Community Health Center and a Research Associate in the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Elizabeth became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media & Information at Michigan State University in Fall 2016. Learn more about Elizabeth.

TimeSaturday, October 22, 1:00p-2:00p
LocationMSU Union Ballroom
DescriptionFrom Invaders (an Indigenous take on the classic arcade game Space Invaders that parallels imagined 8-bit alien invasion with the very real process of colonization in Turtle Island) to Thunderbird Strike (a lightning-searing, talon-tearing attack on oil consumption), Elizabeth LaPensée's games offer alternative gameplay from an Indigenous worldview. She will speak to these games and more with an emphasis on their intentions, Indigenously-determined designs, inclusive development process, and community-focused distribution. The trajectory of this work calls for going beyond merely representing culture in games; it must be infused in the code up.

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