Never Alone Trailer – A Noble Vision or another Avatar-esqe Stereotype?

By | May 10, 2014

Nuna and her fox are alone in a desolate and harsh world of ice and snow. To survive, they must battle the environment, solve puzzles and re-live the legends of their ancestral Alaskan people. It seems like a daunting task for a little girl and her canine friend, but as the title suggests, they are Never Alone in their quest.

The trailer shows a side-scroller puzzle game set in a cold and ice-covered landscape. There’s narration in a native tongue that tells us the importance of keeping old traditions and stories alive. The primary purpose of developing this game was to share these customs with the world and allow it to pass to future generations.

It’s a noble and much-needed cause. And the game will be effective in opening doors to those who otherwise would not be exposed to it. After I saw Schindler’s List, I read a ton about the Holocaust. I learned more about Japanese feudalism and Medieval society because of the Total War games than from any history class. Never Alone might not teach us everything, but it will pique the interest of many to learn more.

The trailer, though, does seem to hit on some of the stereotypes of native cultures. The one-with-nature and the connection-with-ancestral-spirit theme may be common to all native Americans, but too often movies exploit it. Remember Cameron’s Avatar? Hopefully, Never Alone will present more depth than that.

The game will be about $15 out this fall on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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