SimPa connecting stories and landscape

Posted on November 12, 2007


otakou_bridge_sm.jpgOne of the exciting things about the SimPa project is that we don’t really know where it is headed. We’re working with various Kai Tahu runaka to help them retell their stories in different media, primarily in a 3D game environment. We have no preconceptions about the stories or the forms they might take. As such, the resulting “GamePa” could take any form – the driver is to reconnect communities with stories and landscapes and the only rule is that ownership of the work and its products remain with the runaka.

At Ōtākou on the Otago Peninsula, Tahu Potiki is working to retell the history of Ōtākou through stories and landscapes – the aim is to make a series of 5 minute videos mixing real and virtual. The virtual giving glimpses of landscapes both historic and imagined. The videos contain SimPa based imagery, but also the stories form part of SimPa – invoking notions of object-based storytelling. We’re there, helping the best we can, initially behind the cameras and modelling, but as the project progresses, stepping more and more into the background, and eventually, having an empowered community with new ways of exploring their connections.


We spent the day at Ōtākou with Tahu, beginning to retell his story. Tori organised, Leigh and Sunshine drove the camera, and Phoebe helped while Vicky took pictures for modelling and I (perhaps less obviously productively) schemed with various members of the runaka: reimagining their home in ways we hope will give stories new life.