Texas' Abortion Debate Has Finally Inspired a "Choose-Your-Own Adventure" Video Game
State Senator Wendy Davis' epic abortion filibuster in June inspired many things: a spike in pink Mizuno sales; imaginary jars of human excrement; an unfamiliar sense of accomplishment among Texas Democrats. And now, a video game.
The New York Daily News brings us the story of "Choice: Texas," which its developers describe as a "choose-your-own adventure store" in which players attempt to overcome the myriad obstacles set up by state regulators to successfully get an abortion in the Lone Star State.
Here's how the paper describes it:
In the interactive experience "Choice: Texas," players choose a female avatar to navigate "the struggle with geography, time, and money to obtain abortions," according to the developers behind the idea, Carly Kocurek and Allyson Whipple.
Characters in the game include 35-year-old Latrice, who is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend but "never planned to have children." Another character is Leah, 19, who is a bartender and is trying to save money for the future.
There will be five personas in total, including a high school student not ready to be a mother, a woman in a high-risk pregnancy and a married mother in dire financial circumstances.
Sound fun? Well, it's not supposed to be.
"The game is making a point about how there's this rhetoric of choice, but it's really contingent on a lot of factors," Kocurek, a Chicago-based lecturer in video game history, told Polygon. "If you live in West Texas do you go to New Mexico to get an abortion there, or do you end up stumbling into a pregnancy crisis center that tries to terrorize you? I really want people to realize how difficult the situations facing a lot of women are. These are horrifying stories, often of middle class women with fairly good access but it gets much worse at the margins."
The game is tentatively scheduled for release in January. Kocurek and Whipple are currently a bit more than halfway through an Indiegogo campaign to raise $9,250. The game will be free, as the developers have graciously decided to forgo the massive profits they would otherwise reap.
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