Library Workshops and Events

Event Details

Love Data Week 2022 — LECTURE: Custer's Revenge to Red Dead Redemption: Changing the Language of Indigenous Representation in Video Games

Dr. Ashlee Bird, American Studies

This presentation will emphasize the two types of language taking place in video games: mechanical, coded language, and visual, representational language.

This talk will focus on the importance of teaching the history of Indigenous representation in games, and break down various examples from Custer’s Revenge to the Mortal Kombat and Red Dead Redemption series to demonstrate these types of gamic language. Building upon these examples, this lecture centers the problematic ways in which players have historically translated the messages they are being presented within the digital medium of the video game. Furthermore, this talk illustrates how these translations result in harmful narratives about Indigenous avatars becoming cemented within the overarching discourse and design of games. Finally, we will look at new Indigenous works and how inclusive and decolonial game design and practices like ROM hacking can push back against these established narratives and the ways in which players read them, and instead create sovereign digital spaces for Indigenous peoples.

Thursday, February 17, 2022
3:30PM - 4:30PM
Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship // Hesburgh Library 2nd Floor // Classroom 246
CDS | Events
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Contact Info

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Center for Digital Scholarship

Hesburgh Library–2nd Floor NE

Julie C. Vecchio '04, MPH, MLIS
Co-Interim Director
(574) 631-4900