The Skins workshops aim to empower Native youth to be more than just consumers of new technologies by showing them how to be producers of new technologies. AbTeC has built a unique curriculum for teaching people how to do this. It begins with traditional storytelling –exploring the legends, histories and imaginings of our communities– and proceeds to teach participants how to tell a story in a very new way: through virtual environments and video games. With that foundation in place, the students then learn important industry-related skills, such as game design, art direction, 3D modeling and animation, sound, and computer programming. The lessons are taught by a mix of game-industry professionals, Aboriginal artists and a core team of senior Concordia students from the Computation Arts undergraduate programme. We have also invited Aboriginal mentors who lend their considerable expertise as cultural consultants and provide moral support to the young producers.
Our past Skins workshops were intense and comprised approximately 200 hours of instruction. Future workshops will be shorter and more modular. We plan to offer workshops in Second Life, machinima, app creation, hardware hacking and virtual reality. Stay tuned!