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Pass It On: Never Alone's Cultural History

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I was pretty excited about getting to discover the folklore of the Iñupiat people from coldest Alaska in Never Alone, tales and fables with such heavy metal names as Manslayer and the Rolling Heads. But the puzzle-platformer’s important for their own culture too, an elder explains in a new video. It’ll help them relate their tales and ideals to that most stubborn and aloof of beings: the Young Person.

Iñupiat elder Ron Brower explains that while their “historic knowledge” was passed down to his generation, it “has not bridged to the younger Xbox generation.” Enter video games:

“I think this should give them an insight as to the way Iñupiat think. We think quite differently because of our isolation and the kind of beliefs and self-sufficiency that we develop. I think it’s important: how to be independent, and how to think outside of the box, and how to be innovative.”

It helps that the game’s looking pretty flipping lovely. It’s one child’s trek through the snow and ice, accompanied by a fox, meeting all sorts of strange figures. The fox is playable as a co-op character too, if you fancy. The whole thing’s got a beautiful eerie vibe.

Never Alone’s being made by Upper One Games, a studio founded by a tribal council representing Alaska Native groups in a corner of Alaska. They’re planning to release it this autumn.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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