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Learn about empowering Indigenous communities to make games at GDC 2017

We talked with designers Julia Keren-Detar and Elizabeth LaPens�e about what it means to make video games that draw on Indigenous culture and what to expect from their upcoming GDC panel.

At GDC this year, a slew of Indingenous writers who’ve worked in indie, triple-A, and games criticism will be taking the stage to deliver a set of lightning talks about the state of designing games around the values of different Indigenous groups for Indigenous people. 

It’s a new field of game design that’s opened up thanks to the proliferation of game-making tools, and one that should be of extreme interest to developers interested in seeing the boundaries of the medium pushed further and further each day. Think of games like Never Alone, or panelist Allen Turner’s tabletop game Ehdrigohr—games made not only using the language and values of Native communities, but designed for a purpose for the people they draw their inspiration from. 

Yesterday, on the Gamasutra Twitch channel, we took an hour to chat with Elizabeth LaPensée and Julua Keren-Detar, two game designers who will be presenting on the panel and explaining how to understand Indigenous games. It was a great preview for the talk, showing how the game development community can expand to new heights, and even reminding our viewers how John Romero’s Indigenous roots helped build the code foundation for Doom

Be sure to watch the whole video above, and subscribe to the Gamasutra Twitch channel for more developer interviews, editor roundtables and gameplay commentary. 

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

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