By Kaypocalypse | Curator and event organizer.
While considering a cause to champion donations for, I was focused on exploring options that serve Native Americans. I’ve observed that as a community, the portrayal of Native Americans in RDR2 and the experiences of Native Americans on the Western Frontier have been central and ongoing topics of discussion. We find ourselves seeking to explore the potential for self-expression, inclusivity, and creativity through role playing Native American characters. This is tempered by ongoing explorations of the damning repercussions US expansion into the West had on the Native people here. Our RP setting is rooted in that expansion effort. Fast forward to the present, and our reality is that we live in a world made possible by genocide. It’s a lot to grapple with.
The Navajo Water Project was immediately interesting to me because it serves families in New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. New Austin is an amalgamation of the American Southwest, particularly NM, AZ, western Texas (read more). So when we’re role playing in New Austin, we’re roleplaying on Navajo land.
Diving into the information provided at navajowaterproject.com, there are some key details that really solidified the decision:
- 100% of donations go directly to the project.
- It’s Indigenous-led, registered as an official enterprise of the Navajo Nation.
- The Home Water Systems off-grid, community-managed utility alternatives.
- The project provides a critical, widespread need.
- Navajo are 67 times more likely than other americans to live without running water.
- 1 in 3 Navajo don’t have a sink or a toilet.
- This lack of water access is an injustice.
I’m really excited to create new characters with the Thrive in ’95 event. I can’t wait to experience the emergent narratives made possible by starting fresh together. The roleplay experience in RDR2 is a beautiful hybrid of artistic, improvisational expression and gameplay. The map, game lore, and historical setting give us such a stunning, immersive platform and the outcome is RP unlike anything I’ve encountered before.
We have a really dope ass opportunity to consider the entanglement of our beautiful, immersive RP game, with the devastating legacy of the specific time and geographical setting we’re playing in. I think that’s sick.