Texas’ most recent spate of anti-abortion legislation has effectively destroyed women’s access to reproductive healthcare in the state. Your chances of getting a safe abortion in Texas are now dependent on factors related to class and privilege: where you live, the flexibility of your job, access to transportation, and financial resources. It’s a terrifying reality, and it’s also the premise of a new video game called “Choice: Texas,” created by two Texan pro-choice activists, Allyson Whipple and Carly Kocurek.
The game will feature 5 female characters in need of reproductive healthcare, all facing different struggles and personal obstacles. “None of them have it easy, because even if you have the privilege of money and paid sick days at work, there are still other obstacles to deal with,” Whipple said in a recent interview. “But certain characters will be much harder than others. The obstacles each character faces (geography, money, time, transportation) will influence what choices a player can make throughout the game.”
“Choice: Texas” is filed under the genre of “interactive fiction,” but its creators mapped out each character’s struggles and storylines “based on extensive research into healthcare access, legal restrictions, geography, and demographics, and [the game] is reflective of the real circumstances facing women in the state.”
The goal of the game isn’t to entertain but to spread awareness and build empathy. “My hope is that this game provides a means for people to maybe think through what it might be like to face some of these types of issues not as abstract news, but as a fact of daily life,” said Kocurek. Added Whipple: “one of the goals of this game is to make people aware of how difficult abortion is, and how certain communities and groups may have an undue burden put on them in an already-difficult situation.” The duo has brought on a professional illustrator to bring each character to life and will publish the game for free online so as many people have access to it as possible.
The project has less than 3 weeks left to meet its funding goal on IndieGoGo (although it’s a flexible campaign, so even if they don’t hit their goal by the deadline, they will still receive whatever amount of money they raised). If you’re intrigued, go check out their fundraising page for more info and ways you can help make this innovative game a reality.