So often I see steps taken within diverse game dev communities to make them safe that just don't get upheld by the wider community, because there's a lack of awareness or care to ask around. People who shouldn't be given space continue to get support.
Case in point, the lead designer of Mulaka was removed from the Latinx game dev community for being abusive to a former relationship partner, and removed from the Indigenous game dev community for lying about being Indigenous.
Mulaka is named as an Indigenous game that gets applauded for involving Indigenous people, but it was very anthropological and distanced. The lead designer changed how he identified after meeting me and we talked about the importance of self-determination in Indigenous games.
Suddenly he went from being very clearly funded by the government to make an Indigenous game aimed at a non-Indigenous audience to "discovering" he had an Indigenous ancestor. Not of Tarahumara represented in Mulaka, but enough of a cover to give him space he shouldn't have had.
At Indigenous-led events, the team would dominant by submitting multiple members as speakers even including the ones that didn't make claims at being Indigenous, then take up the majority of talking space on panels for their one game clouding over all the work of everyone else.
And while Mulaka has distanced itself from that lead designer to save face, it needs to be known that the entire team of Mulaka is problematic. They insinuate themselves into Indigenous spaces and steal opportunities to feed their greed for attention and money.
Please, please stop giving space to people who dominate over Indigenous voices. It's only with EVERYONE contributing to listening that we will all get to see a team of actually Indigenous game developers make a game that reaches consoles.
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