In the tumultuous times of our contemporary society, play, laughter, and joy are essential tools for both healing and rebuilding our communities. Through an immersive visual arts and gaming experience, both challenging and incorporating the revolutionary new mediums of our world, I expose the inherent traumas of the intersection of gendered and racial discrimination and offer a means to reclaim a cultural, racial, and personal identity.
The interactive experience connects black women and girls of today with those who came before. The notion of ‘playing’ is a freedom taken for granted. As I expose the history of play, in association with a lineage of African Ethnomathematics, I understand it as an engaging activity that has helped generations of oppressed and discriminated peoples overcome the tragedies they endure. In a world that has faced the isolation of a pandemic, perpetuated systemic racism, and a rise in social justice movements, I channel my personal experiences alongside the theories of cultural identity to proclaim a radical way for black women to reclaim their space in American history.
Using immersive visual storytelling through the use of decentralized web technologies will instill both a societal as well as the personal emotional transformative impact on participants. Distributing the project in a decentralized manner means it is free and more easily accessible to those with limited resources. In an engaging play-like activity, these individuals will understand the history of mathematics as a western system of power and oppression, allowing the black community to inspire a nationwide movement to rehumanize math in an increasingly culturally inclusive way.
Basing the project in indigenous steam allows a dialogue to emerge, forcing us to reconsider the ways we quantify and create hierarchies of culture. The project works towards reconfiguring our notions of culture and academics to push towards intercultural democracy. Through game-based learning, our new generation of brilliant black women will be able to reconceive their role in American history. Much like the influential television sitcoms of the 1980s, like “A Different World” which encouraged people of color to pursue their dreams of higher education, this program will inspire marginalized communities to become experimental artists, scientists, engineers, and creators, by understanding their own unique relevance in the construction of culture and society.
The project will allows for communities of color to be invigorated by and the broader national community by finally being made aware of the genius of indigenous steam. Within the game, participants witness humans during a speculative time known as “The Cosmic Renaissance”, an era of creative evolution similar to the birth of Hip Hop merged with scientific philosophy. The ability to communicate has become solely dictated by mathematics and scientific literacy mutated into a colloquial or slang language. Elements of culture, such as indigenous craft, street rhymes, and jump rope, have been elevated to the realm of academics and the advanced sciences.