Engagement with Aboriginal people a must for app and game designers

18 January 2016

Engagement with Aboriginal people a must for app and game designers

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWLC) today urged the producers of a video game that promotes violence against Aboriginal people to work with First Nations games designers in the creation of culturally-appropriate content.

NSWALC Chair Roy Ah-See said the public had sent a clear message that Survival Island 3 - Australian Story 3D was unacceptable and disrespectful to Aboriginal people.

Cr Ah-See also welcomed Federal Communication Minister Mitch Fifield's decision to order a departmental investigation into the circumstances of the game's release to online stores.

"The game's depiction of Aboriginal people is inaccurate, insensitive and demeans the important traditions, culture and ongoing connection Aboriginal people hold to land," he said.

Cr Ah-See said the more than 85,000 signatures on a petition demanding the removal of the game from most online stores had the desired effect.

"We are heartened that the Australian public has taken a strong stand against racism and discrimination, however Amazon continues to list the game on its online site.

"It is also important that we do what we can to avoid damaging incidents like this occurring again.

"NSWALC would encourage the developers of this game to get in contact with Aboriginal video game and app developers to share knowledge and to better appreciate our proud history and culture.

"There are emerging Aboriginal video game and app developers who are playing an invaluable role in using technology to strengthen our culture.

"Apps and other forms of technology are valued by Aboriginal communities in New South Wales as another way to connect our younger generations with our languages, culture and stories.

"For example, Aboriginal historian and artist Brett Leavy is using gaming technology which allows users to learn how Aboriginal people lived in Brisbane and Sydney before they were dispossessed of their land.

"This is a great teaching resource for Aboriginal communities and for the broader public and can also address the misinformation that drives some of the racism and discrimination experienced by Aboriginal people.

"There is great potential for video game and app designers to work together and we hope the response from the on-line petition can translate into something positive for Aboriginal game and app designers."

The petition is available at https://www.change.org/p/amazon-killing-indigenous-australians-is-not-a-game

Media contact: Andrew Williams 0429 585 291