In the final chapter of “Behind Mulaka,” find out why the team at Lienzo turned to the video game medium to preserve and promote awareness of indigenous Tarahumara culture
After tackling the history and mythology of northern Mexico’s indigenous Tarahumara people, developer Lienzo is excited to share the final chapter of their “Behind Mulaka” documentary series. Fittingly titled “The Game,” the series’ finale digs into the importance of leveraging the video game medium as a means of cultural preservation and expression.
Prime among these reasons is the concern that Tarahumara culture will be lost among future generations, as more and more Tarahumara youth move to city centres during their formative years. During this time, many lose touch with the indigenous history they grew up with. Mulaka seeks to preserve these customs and present them through a lens that will resonate with these future generations, while also sharing their stories on a global scale.
For Lienzo, video games represented the perfect medium for achieving this lofty goal. As both an action-adventure game and cultural product, they knew from the project’s inception that it was integral to treat these as equally important. This meant weaving the culture’s rich history into everything from gameplay to narrative structure, ensuring each facet of the game paid respect to its origins while also offering up a compelling experience for gamers. In this way, every river, every jump, and every strike in combat can be tied back to the Tarahumara, offering regular opportunities to learn about and engage with their way of life.
This union of old and new, cultural and contemporary, represents an important and growing trend in the video game industry. Not only does it highlight a sense of maturity as developers empower diverse voices to speak on a wide scale, but it harnesses interactive storytelling to transport players to a place that offers entertainment and intrigue, while also preserving long-held stories that could be at risk of disappearing otherwise.
Mulaka will launch on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4 and Xbox One in early 2018.