When Rivers Were Trails Lets Us Learn about Aboriginal Peoples

Games don’t Always have to be “Bang! Bang! *Winner Royale*”

Typically, educational games do not do very well outside of education settings like a school. Sometimes we get video games that inadvertently teach people about their subject matter. We might just have a balance of those two with When Rivers Were Trails. This game was developed by Michigan State University’s Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab. They have many games with a wide variety of topics such a finance management racing game, a farming game set in Yavneh, and a criminal investigation game, just to name a few.

When Rivers Were Trails

When Rivers Were Trails is a 2D adventure game. The story follows an Anishinaabe person who has been displaced from their home in Fond du Lac in Minnesota. They are forced to leave because of an allotment act, which is when a group of people or things have to be moved. During the game, lessons of Aboriginal peoples’ traditions and customs will be taught. Mini-games like canoeing and hunting are included. The game’s art design was by Elizabeth LaPensée, who is an Anishinaabe herself. She has designed over a dozen games with a focus on Aboriginal people. The trailer for When Rivers Were Trails can be viewed here.

Games with historical contexts like the Assassin’s Creed series, while primarily action-focused, have an educational side to them. It is not unheard of for games to have highly educational value and still be a success in terms of quality. While most hardcore gamers will not pick up When Rivers Were Trails, both boards of education and game publishers can take note about how they can benefit by aligning some goals.

What do you think of When Rivers Were Trails? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Game Informer