Transformations and Remembrances in the Digital Game We Sing for Healing


  • Elizabeth A LaPensee



Survivance, Indigenous, Anishinaabe, Games, Game Design, Non-Linear Game Writing


Digital games, with their capacity for expression and facilitating experience through code, design, art, and audio, offer spaces for Indigenous creatives to contribute to Gerald Vizenor’s characterization of survivance as an active sense of Native presence. Indigenous digital games can be acts of survivance both in the ways they are created as well as the resulting designs. We Sing for Healing is an experiment in developing an Indigenous digital game during limited Internet access that resulted in a musical choose-your-own adventure text game with design, art, and code by Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish game developer Elizabeth LaPensée alongside music by Peguis First Nation mix artist Exquisite Ghost. The non-linear gameplay expresses traditional storytelling patterns while enabling players to poetically travel in, through, and around traditional teachings. The design uses listening, choosing, and revisiting to reinforce what is best described as a non-linear loopular journey.

Author Biography

Elizabeth A LaPensee

Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. expresses herself through writing, design, and art in games. She is Anishinaabe, Métis, and Irish, living near the Great Lakes. She designed and programmed Invaders (2015), a remix of the arcade classic Space Invaders. Her latest game Honour Water (2016) shares Anishinaabe songs for healing the water.




How to Cite

LaPensee, E. A. (2017). Transformations and Remembrances in the Digital Game We Sing for Healing. Transmotion, 3(1), 89.