Topic: Education

Preserving stories through gaming

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Auckland

An Auckland Museum initiative aims to create job opportunities for youth through creative arts. The Urban Programme draws on music, fine arts and game development to inspire career pathways for students.

More than 20 students are taking part in a free one-week programme that could change their future.

Te Arawa Matua (student), says, “There's definitely something for everyone here. Even if you don't like game development you can get into what like what happens in the Museum.”

It's the first time a gaming element has been incorporated into the programme. Organisers say preserving stories through gaming is the way of the future.

Matua says, “In terms of storytelling is a lot better than a lot of traditional methods like movies or books. It's interactive, you can do it in your own way, you can do it in your own order and you can change it slightly just to fit a narrative a little better.”

Amiria Puia-Taylor (Director), “We are trying to digitise and be ready for the future.”

The students document history and traditional practices to preserve for future generations. 

Matua says, “We're telling a story of a walk went on to the Ōtuatua stone fields, being centred around a little girl that came along with us. It's just showing everything we saw through her eyes, so it's just talking about the significance of the land marks they have, so what it means to the people.”

Eric-Rangi Hillman (Game Developer), Te Whānau a Apanui, “This is the thing that's relevant to them and the days of getting them all to come home, it's not as easy so everyone's got their phones and devices in front of them, that's where we are putting it.”

Hillman says game development presents endless opportunity for Māori rangatahi and the industry continues to grow.

“Digital diaries and things like that, if they are recording the stories of old into new then that's invaluable,” says Hillman.