First, a quick apology for not having updated lately. As life would have it, shortly after I started this site, I got a promotion at work that completely transformed my daily work life. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a position to give this site the time and love required. It isn’t forgotten though and I intend to keep it here until the timing is right to rev it up again.
But I’m also excited to tell all of you that after my experience with interviewing the NDN Players, I had sort of an epiphany. After seeing a preview for the video game Greedfall, I wanted to create a “What If” world that explored the idea of Native Americans who never met Europeans, never suffered under colonization. And not set in the 1400s or even now, but in the future. I tossed around the idea of a board game and a card game (both of which are still on the back burner), but decided to instead focus on my first true love in gaming – roleplaying games. RPGs are the best way to create the world that I have in my head and the best way for players to experience this rich expansive idea. (more…)Article || Tags: games, indigenous, Native, native american, Role Playing, RPG
We need to have a talk about Indigenous representation in board games.
For most of my life, I’ve been lumped in with the majority of straight, white, cis male America, for better or worse. As a child, I was blissfully unaware of even the most basic concepts of racial bias, bigotry, racism or the dirty reality of American colonialism. Traveling in the military began to open my eyes to the rest of the world though and living in New Orleans for a decade completely changed my perspective. I believe, for the better.
But it took a little longer for me to begin to direct my attention directly to the concept of representation in board games and longer still for me to understand the representational void within board game design. One of my stated goals with Sub-Level 03 is to bring gaming to a wider audience and with that in mind, I reached out to to the folks at N.D.N. Players and asked if they’d have a chat with me.
N.D.N. Players are a group of Native American scholars and gamers based in the Pacific Northwest who combine their thorough education, knowledge of Indigenous communities and love of games. Taken directly from their webisite, they have a variety of aims:
• Bringing their indigeneity and social equity skills with them into the gaming aspect of popular culture
• Increasing a scholarly Indigenous presence within popular culture
• Using their Indigenous and their academic knowledge within their gaming
• Modeling Indigenous philosophies and understandings within gaming
With so many other minority voices rising up and being heard in current American political discourse, I felt like this was a great time to talk about Native American and Indigenous representation in board games and board game designs. What follows is my chat with Jeanette, Jonathan and Tylor. It’s a bit long, but I feel it’s well worth the read. I’ve edited in a few places for brevity but never for content or tone.
Jeanette Bushnell, PhD Jonathan S. Tomhave, PhD Tylor PratherArticle || Tags: Board Games, diversity, games, indigenous, native american, NDN Players, Pacific Northwest, PNW, representation