Thunderbird Strike

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Thunderbird Strike
Developer(s) Elizabeth LaPensée
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS

Thunderbird Strike is a side-scrolling video game created by Elizabeth LaPensée. In this game the player controls Thunderbird, a legendary creature from the mythology of some North American indigenous peoples, which flies from the Alberta tar sands to the Great Lakes, and along the way attempts to destroy oil industry infrastructure and equipment while trying to revive dead wildlife. LaPensée says the game is a protest about pipeline construction on Indigenous land, while telling stories from her culture and encouraging players to take care of Turtle Island. [1] [2]


The games is available for Microsoft Windows, Android and iOS. [3]


The game won the Best Digital Media Work award at the 2017 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. [1]

It was criticised by the pipe-line advocacy group Energy Builders as having been designed to encourage eco-terrorism. [4] The game had received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, [5] and Minnesota state senator David Osmek called for an investigation into the $4,000 funding. [6]

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  1. 1 2 "Thunderbird Strike: Controversial video game takes aim at oil industry". CBC: Unreserved. CBC Radio. November 5, 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  2. Dubé, Jacob (5 December 2017). "This Game Developer Wants to Create Space for Indigenous Stories". Motherboard. Vice . Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  3. "About". Thunderbird Strike. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  4. "Michigan State Univ. Prof Uses School's Taxpayer-Funded Lab to Create & Launch Video Game to Blow Up Pipelines and Block Energy Infrastructure". Energy Builders. October 25, 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  5. Racine, Eliza (November 11, 2017). "Anti-Pipeline Video Game Accused of Encouraging Terrorism • Lakota People's Law Project". Lakota People's Law Project. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  6. Natividad, Sidlangan (1 Nov 2017). "'Thunderbird Strike' news: Developer draws ire from politician after making game about resisting oil pipelines". Christian Today . Retrieved 5 March 2018.