“Please mom? Can you please download it at home?”: Video Games as a Symbol of Linguistic Survivance

David Dennison Lacho, Aaron Leon


This article examines how the Splatsin Tsm7aksaltn (Splatsin Teaching Centre) of the Splatsin First Nation have decided to create a video game in order to revitalize their Secwepemc language and culture. The authors are part of a research team that are examining how to best include the Splatsin language and culture in this game. As such, a community meeting was held where parents and their stsmamlt (children) played video games such as Kisima Inŋitchuŋa (Never Alone). The parents and stsmamlt (children) identified strongly with the narrative, culture, and language presented in the video game. In this article the authors discuss that through the medium of a video game the stories of the Iñupiaq people were retold in the context of the community meeting, and the community members displayed agency in the game world through playing, observing, and commenting on the game. As such, the authors examine how video games can be a tool for cultural and language revitalization and how a video game can stand as a symbol of linguistic survivance. 


Splatsin First Nation; Language Revitalization; Agency; Embodiment; Linguistic Survivance

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Copyright (c) 2017 David Dennison Lacho, Aaron Leon