Reclaiming Culture Through Game Design: Sneak Peak at Our Games For Change Panel

As an original co-founder of the Games For Change Festival, I am always excited to both attend the annual event and also bring new voices to this important forum. In past years that has often looked like bringing teenagers to the stage.
This year, inspired by my work at the American Museum of Natural History with the indigenous communities of western Canada, I proposed the following panel to bring indigenous and minority voices to the stage, exploring how game development can be part of a process of cultural reclamation:
Meg Jayanth, writer of Time Magazine’s game of the year, 80 Days, and Amy Fredeen, a leader on Never Alone’s development as CFO at E-Line Media and EVP of Cook Inlet Tribal Council, will speak with Barry Joseph from the American Museum of Natural History about amplifying the voices and stories of indigenous and marginalized peoples through games. Hear how two of the top games of 2014 not only provided remarkably engaging experiences but also inspired empathy for and piqued game players’ interest in under-represented cultures.

In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to cover both of their projects for my blog, Mooshme.org, about the intersection of digital media and museum-based learning. After falling in love with 80 Days last summer, I was delighted when its writer, Meg Jayanth, was willing to talk with me about its development, which you can read here. A year earlier I first learned about Never Alone, when its development had just begun, and we brought it in beta to the Museum as part of our annual Margaret Mead Film Festival (and you can read a related interview promoting it here).

So if you are at Games For Change this year, please make sure to join us this Thursday at 2:30pm – 3:00pm at NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts.

[Addendum from after the presentation]

Below is the Twitterfall from during the presentation. Always great to see what people took away (or misquoted).

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About Barry

The Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives at the American Museum of Natural History.
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