Pixels and Pandemics: Indigenous Game Devs Respond To The Virus

Curated by: Small Business Management

Since the moment COVID-19 became a known threat, the world at large has been in flux. People across the globe have seen job losses, social dynamics shifting, and a clear class divide. As with all turbulent events, minority groups have been specifically affected by the loss of opportunity and social currency that social isolation brings with it. For many, the effect of COVID-19 is boredom and a desire to wait out the event until life can resume “business as usual.” However, for many Indigenous game designers, business is never usual. In fact, being an Indigenous game designer means knowing full well that the way the industry works is often entirely contradictory to Indigenous ways of being. 

So what does it mean to return to normal, when you barely fit the description? Or is it best to build something entirely new?

“Hill Agency”, from Meagan Byrne’s studio “Achimo Games,” follows Indigenous P.I. Meegyun Hill through a cyberpunk future North America. This Indigenous take on cybernoir is a breath of fresh air for the genre, yet has found its development shaky following the COVID-19 event.

Indigenous peoples are not strangers to pandemics. We have remained resilient and adapted across centuries of

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