Last year (2016-2017), the inaugural FT4G Gaming the Future program brought together artists, techies, coders, and community leaders to begin our first year-long effort to create a prototype that would address the issues of food insecurity and food sovereignty on the reservation.
During the first Game Jam in November, we invited local food experts to tell us about the issues that they face regarding food insecurity and food sovereignty in the Mission and Flathead valleys. We sketched and storyboarded the discussion about food-related challenges, brainstormed a lot of ideas, and worked well into the night to get things done. Everyone had something to do and it was great fun being part of a small community helping the larger community.
By Sunday morning, we had a working prototype for a project that we really were confident could make a real difference AND be a fun, playable game!
During the Spring and Winter Game Jams, we continued testing and refining our product, receiving feedback from our partners along the way. Eventually, we were able to create a fun and engaging board game called Fields or Famines in which players collaborate to bring food sovereignty to the Flathead Reservation before a disaster strikes. This game is now in the final stages of development by Native Teaching Aids and will soon be on the market.
In the coming months, we will be traveling to local middle and high schools to showcase the game and to recruit students for our 2017-2018 programs!