Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ben Esposito's "Kachina"

Note on March 18: Please see an update to this: "I decided to prove her wrong".

IndieCade, or, the International Festival of Independent Games was held last week, October 4-7, 2012.

Ben Esposito's "Kachina" (which I gather is still in development) was designated as a 2012 Official Selection. Here's a screenshot from the website:

Here's what the description says. See, in particular, the text I put in bold:
Kachina is a physics-based toy that evokes Katamari Damacy's sense of order & scale mixed with Windowill's childlike wonder. Drawing as readily from Hopi folklore as it does Bruce Springsteen, Kachina invites you to play with the creatures and artifacts of North American mythology.
And, here's a video from IndieCade, showing the game being played:

I taught elementary school for several years and know the value of games that help children understand physics, but...

Esposito and the IndieCade people who selected it as an Official Selection must not know that teepees and totem poles have nothing to do with the Hopi people. They obviously have no idea what kachinas mean to the Hopi people, and they also likely have no idea that calling the religious traditions of an Indigenous people "folklore" is derogatory.

It may not matter to Esposito, but I think teachers who want games like this for their students and who have knowledge of American Indians would reject it. I'm going to tweet this post to Esposito. Maybe he can change it before it is finished.


jpm said...

I sure hope he will change it. am certain I'm not the only educator who would never let kids use this.

Unknown said...

How is "folklore" a derogatory term? It's defined as "the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth." Any religion can be considered part of the folklore of it's originating culture. Folklore seems like the most appropriate term.