Written by Mo Stone
Melanated Game Kitchen, a collective of game creators that combines gaming, cooking, and culture, wrapped up their Classic Collards Culture Bytes game jam on March 20, 2022. Held over a two-week period, the Culture Bytes game jams provide game creators of all experience levels the time and opportunity to develop a finished product and also to grow and learn about game development.
From March 6-20, game creators got cooking with the ideas of legacy and the African Diaspora, using the classic dish of collard greens as inspiration. At the end, four games were submitted: Collard Cubes by Helixcube, RED TAILS: The Tuskegee Airmen Legacy by PdotCreations, Collin the Collard by Jayv915, and Dig Deep by Scott Munro.
Created for the fantasy console Pico-8, the objective of Dig Deep is to dig in an ancestral burial site to uncover a family heirloom before the site gets paved over and turned into a parking lot. Pulling from classic games, players of Dig Deep will find themselves hurrying to solve the puzzle while enjoying the retro arcade look of the game and sound design by David Whitaker. Also notable is the creative team of the game, including Timothy Staton-Davis, Tania Pavlisak, David McKee and Stephanie Glover.
A PCVR game designed to be played on Oculus and Vive headsets, RED TAILS allows players to virtually get into the cockpit as one of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first Black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Speaking about his inspiration at the Classic Collards Jam Showcase And Feedback Session on March 20th, creator Lovester cited the story of the Tuskegee Airmen as a way to connect to his culture while attending Tuskegee University. Lovester went on to express that he hopes this game encourages us to talk to our elders about what they’ve been through so that we can ensure those stories last.