More Than Just a Game

Australia, 2022

Commissioned by ACMI

Artwork ACMI commissions First Nations

“Just like in the arcade games of the past, the government initiatives that exist are currently about us, without us. I want us to be seen, to have a say that enables us to take back control.”

Jarra Karalinar Steel conjures the nostalgic excitement of 1990s videogame arcades in More Than Just a Game. At its centre is The Adventures of Dolly, a playable game made with Wiradjuri and Ngiyampaa illustrator Charlotte Allingham. Take the controls and take Dolly on a journey through an alternate reality or not-so-distant future of Melbourne’s CBD, featuring iconic trams and Swanston Street.

Growing up, videogame protagonists weren’t relatable to Jarra. This work remedies that, giving First Peoples a chance to see ourselves imagined in a videogame – made for us, by us. Through The Adventures of Dolly, custom possum and wallaby spirit flooring and the hand-carved arcade cabinet, Jarra reclaims a place that hasn’t reflected our experiences. She brings Indigenous stories into gaming, inspiring the next generation and giving us power to determine our own futures.

Game designed in collaboration with Charlotte Allingham

Game programmed by Peter Russell Adams

Arcade cabinet made with assistance from David Brophy

This work contains First peoples content

How are these works connected?

Explore this constellation

Related articles

Related works

Related events


In ACMI's collection

Previously on display

19 February 2023

ACMI: Gallery 4



Jarra Karalinar Steel

Production places
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier


Curatorial section

How I See It: Blak Art and Film → Zone 8

Object Types



Videogame, arcade machine handcrafted from reclaimed Australian blackwood, LED lettering, custom flooring


6869 times

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url= |title=More Than Just a Game |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=30 March 2023 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}