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Native of Kyrgyzstan presents Manas video game in Los Angeles

Omar Uraimov, a native of Kyrgyzstan, a graduate of the Faculty of Computer Science, presented Manas video game at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles. It was announced on the air of USC Games Expo 2023 event — Advanced Games Projects Spotlight Show.

It is noted that Manas is one of the ten best graduation projects of the Advanced Games Program, selected by competition and developed on the USC campus under the supervision of professors, including industry professionals.

The ideological inspirer and creative director of the graduation project is Omar Uraimov.

The university website says that Omar Uraimov was born in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia, where his family had lived for generations. But at the age of 5, Omar and his parents moved to the bustling city of Houston, Texas, to pursue the great American dream.

«He was proud of his heritage, but as he grew older, he started to feel like he was losing touch with his roots. He saw little representation of his culture in his new home. He longed to share his stories, but he didn’t know how to do it. Fast-forward 15 years, and Uraimov found the answer: a video game based on the Kyrgyzstan legend, the Epic of Manas, the country’s most treasured cultural artifact. The immersive game, which takes players on a journey through Kyrgyz culture through the eyes of its hero, Manas,» an article dedicated to Omar Uraimov reads.

«It seemed like a perfect opportunity to both explore my own heritage and introduce it to so many people who probably have never heard of Kyrgyzstan,» said Uraimov, who graduates on May 12 with a B.S. in Computer Science, Games.

As noted, Omar Uraimov was first captivated by the Epic of Manas while researching his heritage in middle school. It tells the story of a legendary hero named Manas, who unites the Kyrgyz people and leads them to freedom. Its premise: 40 tribes of the Kyrgyz people are divided and scattered across Central Asia, driven out of their homeland by an enemy faction.

«One thing that I struggled with growing up is that Kyrgyz culture, and Central Asian culture in general, is not just underrepresented in media, it’s not represented at all,» said Uraimov. «It’s like we don’t exist.»

The full interview with the native of Kyrgyzstan can be found at the link.