ANCHORAGE – Currently under development by an Anchorage-based game company, a new computer game with a uniquely Alaskan storyline is slated for release this coming fall.
Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa), the brainchild of Upper One Games, is based on traditional Inupiaq lore. According to the game’s website, Alaska Native elders and storytellers have had a deep role in its development. It’s in Inupiaq with English subtitles, and follows the adventures of a young Inupiaq girl and her pet arctic fox.
A trailer for the game shows the young protagonist leaping between crumbling ice floes, fleeing a polar bear and sailing in a skin boat.
“What good are the old stories if they are not shared?” said the narrator in Inupiaq as English subtitles rolled across the screen. “That’s why we’re making this game.”
Upper One Games, launched in 2012 by Cook Inlet Tribal Council, operates through a partnership between CITC and E-Line Media, a New York publishing and development company. Upper One is the first indigenous-owned game company in the country, according to its website, and Never Alone represents “the first in a new category of games.”
“We have so much to share,” the Inupiaq narrator said as the game’s protagonist made her way through her animated world. “Now we have a way to share it.”