Eleanore Falck loves bringing worlds to life.
The University of Wisconsin-Stout junior majoring in game design and development-art created the game Growing up Ojibwe: The Game during a summer internship with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2019 and then expanded the game during an internship last summer.
“I like world-building,” said Falck, of Ashland. “I can invent many things that fit together. I like adventure and exploration. It’s something I am drawn to. When I go to a new place I want to explore everywhere and look at everything. I want to put that feeling in the worlds I build. I like that people can go to a place you created and experience it for themselves.”
Growing up Ojibwe: The Game is based on a children’s book series with the same name and geared toward middle school-age children. GLIFWC published the books.
GLIFWC represents 11 Ojibwe tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan who reserved hunting, fishing and gathering rights in the 1837, 1842 and 1854 treaties with the United States Government. The organization provides natural resource management expertise, conservation enforcement, legal and policy analysis and public information services in the exercise of treaty rights.
Players can choose to play as either Tommy or Annie Sky, two Ojibwe youth, as they embark on a journey through northern Wisconsin to learn about their heritage. The game features five levels, each exploring an aspect of Ojibwe life and culture including treaty rights and sovereignty, maple sap gathering, spearfishing and wild rice harvesting.
When Falck started her GLIFWC internship, she was asked to help the organization connect with and educate middle school-age students.
“We learn at UW-Stout in our game design classes that games are a great way of teaching,” Falck said. “Whenever you are playing a video game you are learning. Games teach players the mechanics of the game. You repeat things and remember them. Because you are doing the activity, what you’re doing becomes a part of your experience, rather than reading about someone else’s experience.”
In the summer of 2019, Falck developed the first three levels of the game. She finished the last two and added the Annie character the next summer. “I’m pretty proud of what I’ve made,” Falck said. CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS.