This paper uses the author’s experiences of teaching the Filipino module of a multidisciplinary video game development class as a case study in teaching Filipino culture and identity as an element of video game development. A preliminary definition of “Filipino video game” as having Filipino narratives and subject matter, made by Filipino video game developers, and catering to a Filipino audience, is proposed. The realities and limitations of video game development and the video game market in the Philippines is also discussed to show how the dominance of Western video game industry, in terms of the dominance of outsource work for Filipino video game developers and the dominance of non-Filipino video games played by Filipino players, has hindered the development of original Filipino video games. Using four Filipino video games as primary texts discussed in class, students were exposed to Filipinomade video games, and shown how these games use Filipino history, culture, and politics as source material for their narrative and design. Issues of how video games can be used to selfexoticization, and the use of propaganda is discussed, and also how video games can be used to confront and reimagine Filipinoness. The paper ends with a discussion of a student-made game titled Alibatas, a game that aims to teach baybayin, a neglected native writing system in the Philippines as a demonstration of how students can make a Filipino video game. The paper then shows the importance of student-made games, and the role that the academe plays in the critical understanding of Filipino video games, and in defining Filipino culture and identity.
Cerda, C. M. C. (2021). Towards a “Filipino” video game: Teaching Filipino culture and identity for video game development. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association, 5(3), 43-64. https://doi.org/10.26503/todigra.v5i3.122