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Native Hawaiian game decolonises virtual world

by Futures Centre, Oct 16
1 minute read

A team of 13 Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiian) and 2 non-native teenagers have created a video game entirely in the Hawaiian language. The game called He Ao Hou, or “a new world” in Hawaiian, tasks the player with exploring the galaxy within a narrative firmly rooted in native Hawaiian culture and storytelling tradition.   Whereas many traditional sci-fi games prompt players to explore new worlds in search of resources or combatants, He Ao Hou asks the player to explore in order to gain and share knowledge with specific emphasis on aloha aina, or “the love and care of the land”.  The game challenges traditional colonial white, western, male narratives and, as it was developed by young native Hawaiians, shares a perspective currently very underrepresented in video game and software design.




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