This project situates indigenously-determined videogames in the context of intellectual traditions, including deep-time stories, speculative fiction, and Native scientific and technological knowledge. From explorations into early indigenous virtual realities to “close-playings” of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council’s game Kisima Ingitchuna (Never Alone, 2014), the project highlights the early and ongoing presence of indigenous creators in digital media. It traces the connections between literary technologies and digital media, reaching back to Sequoyah’s Cherokee syllabary as a critical precedent for indigenous innovations in digital technology.
Through panels and conventions, published articles and social media, indigenous game developers are actively fostering connections and community among themselves and building their own uniquely situated body of work. This project seeks to center the voices of these indigenous game developers, drawing upon materials from panels to personal interviews. It argues that the indigenous game developer community is an intellectual network in which developers are deeply interested in pushing the formal constraints and conventions of video games as a genre.