Never Alone

Play at 5:10

General Information

  • based on a traditional Iñupiaq tale, “Kunuuksaayuka
  • made by a partnership between Cook Inlet Tribal Council and E-line Media, released in 2014
  • Nuna – why a girl?

 

Questions

  • Describe an in-game experience – what you did, tried, felt – that was
    • positive
    • negative
  • Why do you think there are two characters?
  • What worked about the game?
  • What did not work?
  • How/was it environmentalist media?

Cass McCallister: “Never Alone can be seen as environmentalist media through it’s gameplay. Throughout the game, I can’t recall a time when the player had to kill and animal. Instead, it shows the interconnectedness between mankind and other animals/spirits. The main connection here is with Nuna and the Fox but there are other instances. For example, the Fox is able to help move limbs of trees to help Nuna, there are other examples of the both of them interacting with spirits and nature as well. Another, and possibly more prominent proof that Never Alone can be considered environmentalist media is through the cultural insights. The Inupiat people talk about the importance of everything working together and saying something along the lines of man not being on top (better than) animals, instead they are in the same “category”. They also talk about how the ice has become drastically thinner in their lifetimes. This shows that climate change is impacting them.”

Chibeom Bae: “Never Alone by E-line media is a game that is about a story of local Inupiaq’s folktale. The game can be considered as environmentalists film in a way. The game in general is a co op game where the two player have to play together. Since the game characters are fox and a human, it shows that the human and nature have to work together to complete the task. The game shows human and nature have to work together in order to remove the evil from the village. Also during the scene where the characters are in the floating ice blocks, the game mentions that the ice blocks break apart because of the rising temperature. The idea that human and nature have to work together shows that the when there is evil around the village, the folktale believes that if human and nature work together, they can prevail the evil.”

Michael Muhlbauer: “Never Alone does a good job of expressing its environmental message in an experiential way, allowing the player to take a a vital role in experiencing the world around them.  This world feels like it exists regardless of your input, it has been around before you, and will continue to go on without you.  You’re just a participant in that which is already there, and what is there is not very pleasant.  You are trespassing through the ruins and ghosts of a world that once was, an uncanny and uncomfortable place, where the only way to go…is forward.  And the only way to do that is progressing side by side with your fox companion, the embodiment of nature.  The only way to make it through this languished darkness is alongside nature, man cannot progress or build from its ashes without the aid and care of nature.  No journey like this is easy, and it works as an allegory to the recovery and attentive efforts we must pay to restoring our connection to nature, how to go back in sync with it, so we no longer exists as interlopers and ghosts within it, but instead exist side by side, helping and growing alongside each other.”

Gabriel Aristizabal: “Never Alone can be very considered environmentalist media very easily. The whole reason why Nuna went out in the first place is because of an abnormal blizzard, this abnormal blizzard becomes a serious threat. This relationship is a metaphor for the bond between humans and the environment for the native people. The Inupiaq people have a great respect for nature, in fact, their “God” Sila is essentially Mother Nature and Sila was becoming unpredictable. An example of this is the Icebergs in the game. They were melting and shifting randomly creating an obstacle for Nuna. The sharing of these environmental issues the developers are appealing to the emotions of the audience and promote positive change.”

Sean Laera: “The way I interpreted the story that the game is based on is the boy saw the man shoveling snow that caused the blizzards. I think the man shoveling can be western mainstream society and the shoveled snow can be big buisness like oil companies moving land and destroying the earth as they please making the earth worse to live …”