Initiative for Indigenous Futures

Allen Turner

November 11th, 2016

Designing Alternative Indigenous Timelines Using Role-Playing Games

Transcript: .doc | .pdf | .txt


Ehdrigohr is a tabletop role-playing game that takes inspiration from the myths and folklore of tribal and Indigenous cultures around the world, with particular inspiration from the Lakota people. Allen Turner is the game’s creator, and in his Future Imaginary lecture he will focus on the processes and design decisions that went into producing Ehdrigohr, including the life experiences that led to its creation, the needs he is trying to address with it, and the journey the game has taken him on since it manifested in the world. He will share experiences playing Endrigohr, and will examine how the simple act of playing the game has affected Native and non-Native players alike. Endrigohr epitomizes the struggle to weave big cultural ideals into a play space where Native peoples can play and break cultural and personal narratives, while at the same time being mindful of how easily culture is appropriated.


Allen Turner (Lakota, Black, Irish) has been involved in storytelling and education for most of his adult life. He has coordinated youth and adult programs focusing on literacy, myths and legends, storytelling, and role-playing to developing inference and problem solving skills at various Native organizations including the Chicago AIHS, American Indian Center, Mitchell Indian Museum, and NAES College. He has also provided cultural performances for the Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Public Library, the Newberry Library, the Chicago Historical Society, and myriad other organizations and institutions. In addition to traditional storytelling, Allen is also a game designer who has worked for studios like Bungie and Disney Interactive Studios.


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