Today I'm posting the press release for a great project being co-piloted by my colleague at Illinois Institute of Technology, Carly Kocurek. So, aside from being a great game historian, Kocurek's also breaking into the realm of game design--a move I'm glad to see more and more game academics make. Read through the press release for this provocative game, and donate something if you can. We need a game world with more options like these.
"Choice: Texas" // An IndieGoGo Campaign Launch
Game addresses reproductive healthcare access in the Lone Star State
PRESS RELEASE: Austin (August 19, 2013) – Choice: Texas, an interactive fiction game addressing abortion access in Texas, officially launches its IndieGoGo fundraising campaign on August 19, 2013 (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/choice-texas-a-very-serious-game/x/3912619). Billed as “a very serious game,” Choice: Texas draws on research into Texas legal regulations, geography, and demographics and asks players to consider the plight of women seeking reproductive healthcare in the lone star state. Funds raised through the campaign will assist in game development and publicity.
“This game is about an important issue effecting women in Texas, and is intended as a means of furthering discussion and empathy,“ said game co-developer and co-designer Carly Kocurek. “We really think games can facilitate further conversation about and understanding of these kinds of issues.”
The game, developed and designed by Kocurek and Allyson Whipple, invites players to experience the story of one of several Texas women, ranging from a high school honors student not ready to be a mother to an excited mother-to-be confronted with dangerous medical complications. While the women are fictional, they are reflective of Texas’s population and the regulations, financial barriers, and geographic limitations faced by the characters are also drawn from the state’s real environment.
A prototype of the game will be presented at the Future and Reality of Gaming (FROG) 13 conference in Vienna this fall, and a complete version of the game will be published as a browser game in January 2014. The game will be free to play, and will feature original artwork by illustrator Grace Jennings.
Fundraising for the game will be open through September 15, 2013. Further information about the game is available on the game’s Tumblr, at choicetexas.tumblr.com. Kocurek and Whipple are both available for interviews, and can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (940) 224-2235.
Much referenced but never actually seen is the original ad Roberta and Ken Williams took out as On-Line Systems for Hi-Res Adventure: Mystery House, in the May 1980 issue of MICRO: The 6502 Journal. The 6502 was the microprocessor used in the Apple II, which was the machine On-Line initially produced all their products for during their first couple years in operation in the early 80s.
While some sources claim it was a quarter page ad, we can clearly see that it was a full-page piece. From the extensive text to the prices to the almost entirely unknown two other arcade games sold alongside Mystery House (Skeetshoot and Trapshoot), there's lots to chew on here. I'm not one for "Holy Grails" of game history, but...I must admit to certain fascination with this ad. It's a pleasure to put this back in circulation.