'Coming Out' Simulator: Indoctrination in the Form of a Game

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You may have heard of using video games to take the stigma out of tampons, and now Joe Donnel of Kotaku has found a game to simulate coming out of the closet as gay.

This game was created as an autobiography of the game’s creator, Nicky Case. It’s a simple flash game that people can play on their internet browsers.

Early on in his propagandizing of the game, Donnel apologizes for his white/straight/male “privilege”:

“Being white, straight and male aligns me with the majority, and I'll admit that I've not always been the most sensitive to how the world might be for others. Coming out is a concept I've never been familiar with, because I've never had to be. But one game changed that, and helped cement my rejection of the casual homophobia among which I grew up.”

Later, he says he was a victim of his upbringing and enviroment:

“…I'll admit that I identified with the parents' mentality at first – largely thanks to the surroundings in which I was brought up. I live in Glasgow, Scotland, and for years I worked as a plumber and gasfitter in a very traditionalist and at times grossly narrow-minded environment where the LGBT community wasn't exactly well-represented. Although Glasgow actually enjoys a thriving gay scene compared to other areas of the country, religion is a central tenet of day-to-day life in Scotland's largest city, and so it's perhaps of little surprise that homophobia is pretty rife in certain circles.”

Case and Donnel take on "traditionalists":

“Highlighting the universal relevance of coming out helped me understand the magnitude of the process. Traditionalist attitudes exist all of the world – Case speaks of his Singaporean heritage as a culture which generally struggles to accept homosexuality – but by relating the scenarios to our own lives, or at the very least being shown how these situations can and do play out, we become better able to comprehend their gravity.”

“Case also talks about his personal struggles in overcoming his own internalised homophobia, and the shame surrounding it. It's simple for me to just think of everyone who genuinely hates gay people as a bigoted [jerk], but there are people out there who feel entirely justified about it.”

"Art," like this video game, is an ideal medium to effect social change, Donnel says. He even invokes the name of Vice President Joe Biden and the "Will and Grace" television show:

"As for improving people's perceptions of LGBTQ folk, I think art really is the best way to go," he says. "I know that sounds super-fluffy [but] while education and science can help at the logical level, only art can reach us at the emotional level."

"Take for example, the television show Will & Grace. Joe Biden once said that Will and Grace 'probably did more to educate the American public on LGBT issues than almost anything anybody has ever done so far.' Art can help reduce feelings of disgust by normalising it; or increase feelings of disgust by making it seem alien and other. Again, evoking/removing disgust can be either good or bad."

Games can drive discussion, Case says:

“’Most media is a monologue,’ adds Case. ‘Games can be a dialogue.’”

All in all, this game is meant to connect with homosexuals and leave the “boring” straight people “enlightened.”

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