Sheffield 1400 30/07/2021: The BGI has won a grant from Museums Association funded by UK Research and Innovation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to work with Biome Collective and under-represented groups in Sheffield to create a game about folklore.
The grant from the Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund was awarded to the charity for the National Videogame Museum’s new project: Playing with Power. The community-led project will work with Biome Collective as artist in residence and a group of 40 local co-producers to explore, document and share their experiences and feelings about identity and representation via a co-created videogame and videogame assets.
Playing with Power will explore what happens when you shine a light on the folktales from under-represented cultures within Sheffield and re-imagine them as a videogame. During the 12-month residency project, a group of local people will collaborate with Biome to co-create a body of work to be shared online. The resulting content will become part of the Museum’s permanent collection and the creative process documented online. The residency will engage audiences interactively throughout, integrating their responses to make this project part of the wider community both during and after its creation.
Veteran developer Malath Abbas from the Biome Collective said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Biome Collective to co-create videogames with diverse people from across Sheffield. We look forward to exploring the creative process behind videogames in accessible and fun interactive workshop sessions. By focusing on unrepresented voices we will unlock great potential and connect audiences to untold stories that will enrich their lives.”
NVM Programme Manager Claire Mead said “Playing with Power aims to harness the collaborative power of videogames using a community-led approach within the NVM. Working with Biome Collective and local Sheffield producers will provide new ways for the museum to support creative co-production within the museum and support local and UK-wide creatives. This project will empower new audiences to use videogames as a way to tell their own stories and have these stories collected and displayed both within the museum gallery and online.”
The Digital Innovation and Engagement Fund aims to bring diverse, under-represented voices into museums and bring new perspectives and audiences into 14 museums across the UK. Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, Chief Executive of UKRI, said: “Museums play a vital role in bringing communities together; they help us to understand our past and imagine a better future. This investment will bring diverse, underrepresented voices into museums to share their experiences, so that new audiences benefit from our outstanding museums and museums benefit from different perspectives. Coming together as a society to learn and discover new things is a key part of our cultural lives, and the recipients of this funding will help to facilitate this in novel and exciting ways.”
Find more information on the Digital Innovation and Engagement fund here.