Video Game Has Players Seek Abortions in Texas

by Katherine Connell

ThinkProgress highlights a new video game called “Choice: Texas” that will “challenge users to navigate Texas’s harsh abortion restrictions.” The first-person “interactive fiction game” invites players to inhabit one of several characters who are seeking abortions. Through a “‘choose your own adventure’ narrative platform” the player will travel the path to an abortion in Texas. The characters range from a rape victim to a high-school honors student to a successful lawyer who “has her hands full enough.” Meet Latrice:

Latrice is a 35-year-old lawyer living in Houston. She works at a firm downtown. The first member of her family to complete college, she is very close with her family and uses her money and time to help support her aging mother, who is in ill health, and to help her younger siblings. Her brother is attending community college after several years of working low-paying jobs. Her sister is a single mother to two grade schoolers. Latrice enjoys being able to help her family, particularly her niece and nephew. She lives with her long-time boyfriend in an apartment in Midtown. Latrice has never planned to have children, and between her career and family obligations, she feels she has her hands full enough. Her boyfriend, who works at a legal publishing company, is supportive of Latrice’s professional aspirations and is himself ambivalent about having children.

The creators of the game, which is still in development and is soliciting donations through the site Indiegogo (donate $50 and get a “Choice: Texas” tote bag), are Carly Kocurek, a Chicago college professor, and Allyson Whipple, a feminist poet based in Austin. Kocurek’s work at the Illinois Institute of Technology focuses on, among other issues, “the ways in which video gaming has served as a point of articulation for public discourse surrounding masculinity, technology, capitalism, and violence.”

Kocurek and Whipple envision their project as “a very serious game” to be used as an educational tool, partly for the benefit of complacent middle-class women who think getting an abortion is easy, and potentially as part of a high-school sex-education class. It will be available on the web for free by early next year.