Skins 5.0 Workshop
Standing upon a foundation of our culture, language, and practices, we can see across vast distances, even to new worlds. “He Ao Hou,” A New World, is a short video game that is the product of Kanaeokana’s collaboration with the Montreal-based Initiative for Indigenous Futures. IIF ran a three-week workshop that gave haumāna room to envision sustainable new worlds for Hawaiian moʻolelo and values to populate and then gave them the skills necessary to bring them into being. In the final five days of the workshop, the participants created this Hawaiian-language game based on an original story they had come up with, set in a universe filled with our stories and traditions. They did everything from coding to graphics to voice acting. Download the game and immerse yourself in the new world that these haumāna have imagined.
Description of Game
He Ao Hou is a point-and-click adventure game. The gameplay is based on Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) stories and knowledge, and focuses in particular on the uses of the native kukui nut, itself a symbol of knowledge. It is set in the far future, when your people, the Kanaka Maoli, have attained the next level of navigation: space travel. While your grandfather, a great navigator, is on his deathbed, your sister goes missing. Entrusted with your grandfather’s space canoe, you set out to find her, along the way meeting interesting individuals and learning about their relationships to their planets. On the water (Wai) planet you learn that you can use the kukui to clarify water that is cloudy, thus finding a helpful shark. On the lava (Pele) planet, you learn how hula dancing is used to make kukui plants grow. On the plant (Ahupua’a) planet, you use the kukui as a projectile, hitting the boar-like, eight-eyed demi-god, Kamapua’a, to wake him up. Finally, you unlock enough knowledge to find your sister—but she is now much more than she ever was before.