Alaskan Tribe Starts Video Game Studio

Illustration for article titled Alaskan Tribe Starts Video Game Studio

They could have put their money into more traditional businesses, like a funeral home or a dry cleaner or real estate development. Instead, the Cook Inlet Tribal Council of Alaska chose to fund a video games company. They say it's the first one in the United States owned by indigenous people.


Upper One Games announced its founding this week at the Games For Change Festival in New York. USA Today reports that it will partner with E-Media, a New York-based company founded by a former Activision executive, to release two titles next year. (A screenshot of one is above). The tribe's president said they looked to video games, instead of other investments, because they wanted to connect their efforts to their youth.

One title, which is planned for a commercial release, will be based on traditional Alaska stories, though subsequent efforts will explore other cultures as well. As for the studio's name, Upper One is a play on Lower 48, the term by which Alaskans commonly refer to the contiguous United States.

Indigenous-owned game company making titles on culture [USA Today]


They say it's the first one in the United States owned by indigenous people.

Only if you define "indigenous" as "descended from people who were living there when the Europeans showed up in the late 1400's."

Indigenous is another word for someone who is native-born to a place. I'm pretty sure that, even as a person of European decent, I qualify as a native of America, given that I was born here, my parents were born here, my grandparents were born here, my great-grandparents (for the most part. Two of them immigrated from Ireland,) were born here.

So, yeah. They're pre-colonization Americans. That doesn't make them any more "native" than I am.