A downloadable game for macOS
Walls is a short, avant-garde, puzzle runner game meant to capture the complex social concept of intersectionality, as coined by black feminist theorist, Kimberlé Crenshaw.
This was a student project and mostly a proof of concept to show that games can be used artistically to show complex concepts through gameplay systems alone, without need for things like cinematic cutscenes. Though it is extremely simple, the gameplay of walls creates ludo-narrative and this on its own can function as allegory or social commentary.
WASD to move
R to restart game, L to restart level
Hold G to enter slow motion (only as a white cube)
Note from an older, better, wiser Pat Healy
Looking at this project many years later, I now see it as a pretty bad game. It was a fun way to do a class project (and destructible objects are fun!) but it's pretty rough overall as a serious game -- mainly because its allegory is terrible! The slow-motion mechanic is sort of interesting as some kind of illustration if privilege, but outside of that it seems most of the intersecting domains of oppression the game simulates end up creating something very much resembling a mathematical calculation of oppression that is easily placed into a straightforward hierarchy of more and less oppressed. In that way, this game better demonstrates the conservative misreading of intersectionality more than it actually touches Crenshaw's work.
A procedural representation of intersectional theory is definitely possible, I'm sure, but my very 'geometric' approach is too simple to meaningfully represent it.
I keep it on my page because it's not really embarrassing enough to take down and it was my first game that really tried to play with procedural rhetoric, even if I didn't really understand what that meant at that point.
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