It’s Dangerous to Go Alone

A Tale of Three Editors

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Back in July betsy, Chris, and Rob said their farewells and hinted at some changes for the coming year. After some time at the character selection screen, Sabrina, Patrick, and Lia have been chosen to take up the mantle and continue the adventure that FPS started all those years ago. And what better way to start than with some introductions and an unveiling of those changes. Continue Reading

Don’t Leave/I’m Ready

A Farewell Editorial in Three Parts

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As you may or may not know, the editorial team at FPS is run by grad students. That means our team changes from year to year. This year, three longtime editors are stepping down from the publication: betsy brey, Chris Lawerence, and Rob Parker. What will FPS look like next year? Well, we already know, but you’ll just have to wait and find out. But, before our August publishing break, they commandeered the weekly post one last time. Here’s what they have to say. Continue Reading

Kakwitene VR

Virtual Reality Endangered Language Revival and Retention with Onkwehonwehneha A.I. (Ancient Intelligence)

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This paper tracks the effectiveness of Endangered Language Learning through VR, observing how participants learn new Kanien’kéha words. To us, “effective” aims to increase memory retention, the speed of learning, and each learners’ confidence to speak Kanien’kéha outside of the VR experience in the physical world. But Kakwitene VR has no intention of assimilating Indigenous dialects into non-Indigenous definitions and languages. It will not translate over to world-views and experiences that are foreign to the specific Indigenous dialect presented. The base communications in Kakwitene VR includes audio and visuals that are experienced without providing non-Indigenous cultural interpretations and literal translations. Continue Reading

The Burden on Our Back

Conveying Nahua Survivance through Games

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Even now, it seems a novel idea that the game would feature a drastically different approach to gameplay than other games of the time. Even other Disney tie-ins of the same generation featured hordes of enemies requiring defeat; though the film Aladdin (1992) featured a protagonist who relied on wits to solve problems, the game adaptation (Disney Interactive, 1993) gave Aladdin a sword for most of its levels. Scratching beneath the surface of Pocahontas’s mechanics, however, reveals not a nuanced look at game design based on indigenous ways of knowing but rather an essentialized representation based on the related film’s already troubled representation of a generic, somewhat stereotypical version of Native American ways of being. Continue Reading

(Re)Coding Survivance: Sovereign Video Games Special Issue

First Person Podcast Episode 37

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Welcome to a special edition of First Person Scholar. Today, we’re introducing a special issue on Indigenous and Sovereign Games, called “(Re)coding Survivance,” edited by Michelle Lee Brown. Our podcast this month features a conversation between four amazing Indigenous game designers, developers, and scholars. Michelle Lee Brown, Beth LaPensée, Maru Nihoniho, and Meagan Byrne discuss game design, Indigenous futurisms, survivance, and so much more. Continue Reading

(Re)coding Survivance and the Regenerative Narrative

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The theme of this special issue is “(Re)coding Survivance” and is, as I understand it, supposed to be about how we might envision Indigenous futurisms via video game worlds. One of my Indigenous nations, the Washazhe or “Osage,” call ourselves “Children of the Middle Waters” and have special relationships with rivers. Thus, I turn to the source of much of our story to think about how to envision futures in a decolonial, “(re)coded,” or regenerative way. Continue Reading

Life Will Change

Ludonarrative Dissonance and Procedural Revolution in Persona 5

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Despite the revolutionary and rebellious tone of the narrative, many of the game mechanics deliberately deny player agency. While in some cases this can detract from the game argument, it has been suggested that game developers may consciously subvert the narrative with contrasting mechanics to create what is known as “ludonarrative dissonance” (Seraphine, 2016, p. 3) in order “to create complex narratives of trauma and suffering” (Kuznetsova, 2017, p. iii). It has been noted that complicity is a significant part of how a videogame enacts its argument on the player, and that because the player is directly responsible for the events in the game world, “games are well equipped to draw the player in” to the extent that they can even “make [players] feel for characters who may be traumatized” (Smethurst & Craps, 2014, p. 278). In what ways, then, does the dissonance between narrative and ludic elements impact P5’s overall argument? Continue Reading