SPEAR: a framework for Indigenous cultural games


  • Elizabeth LaPensee Michigan State University


Indigenous studies, Game studies, Game design.


Video games, which uniquely interweave design, code, art, and sound, can be an especially robust way to express Indigenous cultures. Such games should involve Indigenous people in meaningful roles throughout design and development from conceptualization to distribution with a focus on building capacity to encourage self-determination for Indigenous game developers. This call to action informs SPEAR (Sovereignty, Positionality, Equity, Advocacy, and Reciprocity), a framework for design and development informed by the Indigenous cultural game Thunderbird Strike.

Biografia do Autor

Elizabeth LaPensee, Michigan State University

Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. is an award-winning designer, writer, artist, and researcher who creates and studies Indigenous-led media such as games and comics. She is Anishinaabe with family from Bay Mills, Métis, and Irish. She is an Assistant Professor of Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures at Michigan State University and a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.

Most recently, she designed When Rivers Were Trails (2019), a 2D adventure game following a displaced Anishinaabe during allotment in the 1890’s, which won the Adaptation Award at IndieCade 2019. She designed and created art for Thunderbird Strike (2017), a lightning-searing side-scroller game which won Best Digital Media at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival 2017. 




Como Citar

LaPensee, E. (2020). SPEAR: a framework for Indigenous cultural games. ANTARES: Letras E Humanidades, 12(28), 4–22. Recuperado de https://sou.ucs.br/etc/revistas/index.php/antares/article/view/9103