Towards Sovereign Games

LaPensée, Elizabeth A.; Laiti, Outi; Longboat, Maize
Games and Culture

Video games can be dynamic sovereign spaces for Indigenous representation and expression when the self-determination of Indigenous people is supported. Where games are concerned, self-determination involves the autonomy and right of Indigenous people to make key decisions regarding the process of how a game is developed as well as what that game entails. A game is sovereign when self-determination is a respected practice throughout all phases of development from conceptualization to distribution. In what ways can games be sovereign and what challenges may be faced? Utilizing comparative case studies of the self-determined games Lost Memories, Terra Nova, and When Rivers Were Trails, this research identifies possible approaches and challenges for sovereign games looking at development as well as the resulting designs.