Although not for sale, it was designed by students at the University of Utah as part of the Shoshone/Goshute Language Apprenticeship Program. They managed to combine the Shoshone language with Tim Burton-style aesthetics into the dialogue and design. The name of the game, Enee, comes from the Shoshone word meaning “scar, fearful, frightening.” The game retells the traditional stories of the Shoshone people.
So, in many ways, it resembles the video game Never Alone which was produced with the Inupiaq nation as the target demographic. Never Alone used a lot of myths from Inupiaq mythology in order to make a story, whereas Enee does the same.
This is incredibly important to the Shoshone language-speaking community, because the Shoshone language is spoken by 1,000 native speakers and 1,000 secondary speakers. As such, there is the issue of the stories passed down by elders that would no longer be transmittable to the next generation. This is where media comes into play, since it can reach many members of the Shoshone nation.
This is why the Shoshone/Goshute Youth Language Apprenticeship Program is an important step, since it provides that vital link between proficient language speakers and the new generation. They are the same program that managed to put together a public presentation about the Shoshone aetiological tale of the creation of the months and years narrated entirely in the Shoshone language.
Although language revitalization typically requires many skills, such as science, technology, art, and math, it is incredibly useful in the long-term desire to restore a community. Everything should be on the table when it comes to language revitalization, since it is a field that requires lots of creativity in order to make it interesting and relevant.
- Cunningham, Ryan. “University of Utah students create Shoshone language video game.” Utah Public Radio. 2013.
- “First Shoshone Language Video Game.” Science Blog. 2013.
- Oppenneer, Mark. “Enee: a Shoshone Language Online Video Game.” Ethnos Project. 2013.
- “Shoshoni” Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015).
- Warner, Natasha, et al. “Revitalization In A Scattered Language Community: Problems And Methods From The Perspective Of Mutsun Language Revitalization.” International Journal Of The Sociology Of Language 2009. 198 (2009). pp. 135-48. SocINDEX with Full Text.
- Brilafamo. “Endangered Languages Are Adaptable To Popular Media.” 3rd Edition. Brlfam. 2018.