A video game designer is seeking funds for "Deadskins," a proposed console game that many Natives will no doubt find troubling.
The story begins with the mysterious massacre of a tribe by a supernatural being or beings. Then, as described at the game's Kickstarter page:
Using the powers and secrets of your elders, you must journey on a vision quest to repair the Spirit World and heal Mother Earth. Quickly become a warrior and fight a psychedelic battle against a man who has forgotten that he has died. He is a man known as the Dead Skin walker. And his power over the dead, was strong enough to punch a hole through to the land of the living, sending many lost spirits in search of revenge.
Ancestral spirits begin to rise from the earth and mount war parties of the Undead. This ravenous group of zombies attack everything they see and they quickly become many like the stars. They are DEADSKINS; a crazed and bloodthirsty tribe of the undead. Mounted on zombie beasts, the demonic warriors begin to cross over to the land of the living and curse all creatures they encounter.
The designer's free-wheeling mixture of real Native culture, Hollywood clichés, and Night of the Living Dead-style mayhem results in some strange story elements -- for example, the zombie spirit animals:
Mounted zombie animals that you can summon from the dead and acquire their Spirit Power! WAY COOL!!! This is the radest thing about DEADSKINS. Zombie Native Americans that ride around on zombie animals! I love vehicles in death match games and look forward to fighting on "Mounted Spirit Animals"!
And then there's the scalping:
This could be a problem. Here are some more images from the Deadskins page at Kickstarter:
Zombie Indian riding atop a zombie white buffalo in 'Deadskins.'
Weapons available in 'Deadskins.'
Screenshot from 'Deadskins;' player is wielding the 'Shaman's Hand' weapon.
Models based on undead warriors from 'Deadskins.'
While the game looks to have some all-too-familiar cultural problems, we'll leave it to you to judge. Here's the Kickstarter clip, which includes a couple minutes of actual gameplay -- is this offensive, or is this fun?: