ETAO Podcast, Episode 72.
Phoebe Watson joined the team at DragonBear Studios for the expressed purpose of making sure that the indigenous cultural elements in Chaos Tavern are meaningful and on-point—and that’s meant everything from discussing aesthetics with the rest of the team, to shaping culturally syncretic (yet specific) lore, to soliciting the opinions of elders (and therefore having to explain to said elders what video games even are these days, and why they matter, and why they have the potential to matter in even more ways).
It’s an unusual role, but a necessary one for the sort of game that DragonBear is trying to make. In this episode, Phoebe walks us through her day-to-day, rhapsodizes her foundational love for Skyrim, and talks about the drive to make unreal places and stories richer and truer.
You can follow Phoebe, as well as DragonBear Studios, on Twitter.
• Here’s that interview with Ben that I refer to.
• Solidarity is that game about unionizing a potion factory.
• Here’s another interview that Phoebe did since we spoke.
• Here’s an article on games that feature indigenous culture (including Never Alone) in which she gets quoted.
• And here’s a talk she did last summer on the importance (and the challenges) of putting indigenous culture in games.
• Phoebe mentions that her specific indigenous cultural group is the Yarrer Gunditj clan of the Maar Nation. I’m typing that out here in case you (like me) weren’t sure how to spell those names when she said them.
• Last but not least, here’s a little background on on the Wurundjeri people, with whom Phoebe also works a great deal.
“All The People Say (Season 3)” by Holly Hyperion.
Some music from Chaos Tavern.
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Logo by Aaron Perry-Zucker, using Icons by by Llisole, Dávid Gladiš, Atif Arshad, Daniel Nochta, Mike Rowe, Jakub Čaja, Raji Purcell and IconsGhost from the Noun Project.