Skábma: Snowfall

From WIRED magazine: Skábma: Snowfall “tells the story of a Sámi reindeer herder reconnecting with the ancient ways of his people. […] At the start of Skábma: Snowfall, Áilu lives a blessed life. Under the watchful eye of his adoptive uncle, he tends to a herd of reindeer in a remote Arctic village, dreaming of a day when he may one day master his own herd. But soon things begin to change. Disease and disorder spread among the wildlife, and before long, young Áilu is called upon to beat back a pandemic armed only with a shaman’s healing drum.

The game was developed over the course of the current global pandemic, and it’s easy to see our present hellscape of disease and disorder lurking in the background of Skábma: Snowfall, a forthcoming PC release from the tiny Finnish studio Red Stage Entertainment, PID Games, and Epic Games. […] It will be the first major video game release to be designed and acted by a Sámi-led team, the first to be produced entirely in the endangered North Sámi language, and the first to be firmly rooted in Sámi folklore and tradition.”

“More recently, Sámi have been depicted in blockbuster films like Klaus and Frozen 2, where they are usually side characters who aid in settlers’ quests. In these depictions, Sámi are almost always historical, in formal traditional dress, and nomadic. […] “Defining what is traditional and what is not is also narrowing the image of Sáminess,” Outi Laiti, a Sámi game researcher and designer, wrote in an email to WIRED. Reindeer herding, traditional crafts, and nature worship are all part of Sámi cultural heritage. But most Sámi are Christian, many don’t know traditional crafts, and few would know much about what to do with a reindeer herd. To call these things traditional could imply those people are somehow less Sámi.”