never alone

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For thousands of years, we told stories from one generation to the next. Our stories help us to understand how the world is ordered and our place within it. But what good are old stories if the wisdom they contain is not shared?

In Never Alone, players take on the roles of Nuna, a young Iñupiaq girl and an Arctic fox, in an atmospheric puzzle platformer that combines traditional folklore, stories, settings, and characters handed down over many generations by Alaska Native people whose roots and heritage date back millennia. 

Featuring imagery and themes drawn directly from Iñupiat and other Alaska Native cultures, Never Alone features striking visuals, emphasizes the sensibilities and perspective of these indigenous Arctic people and requires players to work cooperatively to succeed in challenging and harsh environments. [x]

vimeo

Players will control young female protagonist Nuna and her arctic fox as they try to rescue her homeland from an endless blizzard. Upper One calls itself the first indigenous-owned video game developer and publisher in the U.S. and Never Alone’s inspiration comes from the centuries-old stories and folklore of the Iñupiat people native to the region. Priced at $15, it comes out this fall for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

This game makes me so happy. This is what indie developers have an opportunity to create and what, in all likelihood, AAA companies will be forever ignorant about. Keep an eye on this one, guys it looks brilliant

little Nuna and her fox friend from the game “Never Alone” (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa)

a beautiful and educational game which explores the culture and lore of the Alaskan natives, the Iñupiaq.

I highly recommend this lovely game!

Originally posted by paarthrnax

An Alaska Native group decided to make a video game. It’s like nothing you’ve ever played before.

One of the most groundbreaking, critically acclaimed, and delightful video games of 2014 began in a highly unlikely place — Anchorage, Alaska.

It’s called “Never Alone” (or “Kisima Ingitchuna”). And it wasn’t developed by Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, or any of the other big game studios.

It was the brainchild of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) — a nonprofit community support organization for Alaska Natives and their families.

And while many Alaska Native communities are struggling to hold on to their identities in the 21st century, the council saw “Never Alone” as both a way of becoming more financially self-sufficient and a necessary new method of transferring cultural knowledge from one generation to the next.

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Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

“Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) is the first game developed in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. Nearly 40 Alaska Native elders, storytellers and community members contributed to the development of the game. Play as a young Iñupiat girl and an arctic fox as they set out to find the source of the eternal blizzard which threatens the survival of everything they have ever known. 

In this atmospheric puzzle platformer, you will explore awe-inspiring environments, perform heroic deeds, and meet legendary characters from Iñupiaq stories — all narrated by a master storyteller in the spoken Iñupiaq language. 

Unlock fascinating video insights — Elders, storytellers, and other members of the Alaska Native community share stories and wisdom about their culture, values and the amazing Arctic world encountered by players in over 30 minutes of interviews.”

neveralonegame.com / Steam Store / facebook

Keep reading about the game: 

Updating Centuries-Old Folklore With Puzzles And Power-Ups

// Upon request by olivia-wetzel  

Not really Comic book stuff per se but it touches the cultural diversity aspect in an important way. - Admin // 

polygon.com
Never Alone and the need for American Indian narratives in games
I'm proudly American Indian.
By Daniel Starkey

Natives are often in the position of having to prove their Native-ness. So many have co-opted the culture to be about spirit animals and headdresses and nothing else. There’s a general lack of understanding from those outside of Native culture about what it entails, and what it means to the people that live it. The real truth of that experience though, is that none of us have a complete picture. Native culture is so many things because there are so many different kinds of us.

Never Alone, as its name implies, is optimistic by nature. It follows an Iñupiat girl, Nuna, and her spirit fox companion. Together, they search for the source of a blizzard that’s brought her village to the edge of starvation. That set-up sounds like any other, but it obscures the beauty of what it is, and how it came to be.

At first Never Alone gives the impression that it is the retelling of an Iñupiat myth. In a manner of speaking that is true, but it’s also quite a bit more. Many native cultures revolve around stories and legends, tales told by fires over twilit dinners. These stories are like parables; they contain pieces of life advice, the tools for survival and important observations about the dangers of the natural. They are meant to inspire respect and understanding, and that’s easy to lose sight of.

With that perspective, it’s more accurate to say that Never Alone is like a videogame version of the boy who cried wolf. Never Alone is about more than Nuna’s journey. It’s about community, about the role of child and elder and about learning to survive in the harsh arctic climate. In that sense, it embodies values that are vital to the Iñupiat people of today, not a far flung legend whose meaning has been lost in time.

Read More at Polygon