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Recentering Indigenous Epistemologies Through Digital Games: Sámi Perspectives on Nature in Rievssat (2018)


2022 Canada

This article examines Rievssat (2018), one of the six games developed during the 2018 Sami Game Jam, as a case study to demonstrate how digital games on Indigenous issues afford opportunities to embed Indigenous ways of knowing into the core of game design. In particular, by exploring Rievssat’s themes and game mechanics, this article identifies the way its procedural rhetoric models an understanding of and relationship to the game environment that reflects the dialogic connection with nature and animistic worldview unique to the Sámi people. This article thereby demonstrates the value of new media in recentering Indigenous systems of knowledge and cultural practices by engaging with and incorporating Indigenous epistemologies into the foundation of game design, revealing how Sámi digital games can offer insight into Sámi ways of knowing and experiencing the world to Indigenous and non-Indigenous players alike.

Sámi, Rievssat (2018), 2018 Sami game jam, Indigenous worldview, Indigenous epistemologies, Indigenous traditional knowledge, animism, nature