An Indian Video Game Studio Bringing 'Indofuturism' Into The Cultural Zeitgiest

An Indian Video Game Studio Bringing 'Indofuturism' Into The Cultural Zeitgiest
Image Courtesy: Antariksha Studio

As the world of artificial intelligence is expanding, tech and design are being incorporated by cultures around the world in order to explore their heritage in the space of futurism. This has especially been true since the pandemic made it abundantly clear that digital spaces can tremendously benefit us as a community. Young creatives from around the world are now championing AI (Artificial Intelligence) and making progress in areas like diversity, accessibility, mental health, uniting communities and more.

Avinash Kumar of Antariksha Studio is magnifying our cultural narratives through heritage by playing with formats such as graphic novels, live dance performances and music. Additionally, they employ visual references from the deep and complex culture found across India in the space of video games. Previously these platforms in the multi-media space were mainly occupied by non-Indian teams which leaned heavily on stereotypes. Presently the young developer is collaborating with others in the AI space to reset expectations of what a game from India can look like.

Image Courtesy: Antariksha Studio

Drawing on parts of Indian culture and history that remain unknown to people outside the country, ‘Antariksha Sanchar’ is colliding the two worlds to create a digital space of ‘Indofuturism’. The project is an ode to the Indian imagination of flight and space travel and is told through the lens of a mother-son duo. The game focuses on their space travel on an aircraft powered by dreams, music, and dance.

The project is inspired by Kumar’s mother, Guru Jayalakshmi Eshwar, an Indian classical exponent of the ancient dance of Bharatanatyam who is also a visual collaborator on Antariksha. Back in 2010 and 2011, she produced a dance production by the same name presenting vignettes of Indian mythologies and advances in human flight. The entire narrative brings together the heritage of India in the form of a transmedia play of sorts.

The background score is composed and played by Carnatic musicians and the protagonist is inspired by the great Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. It beautifully captures a myriad of expressions that go beyond stereotypical views of culture.

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