MIT Students Create LGBT Storyline for New Video Game
It’s a well-known fact that LGBT characters are sparse in video games, and even rarer is the program that revolves around one. These characters often have to be unlocked or straight personas are cheekily forced into a gay situation.
For one of the first times ever, however, a video game based on an LGBT character and storyline has been developed.
The Singapore-Massachusetts Institute of Technology GAMBIT Game Lab spent the whole summer making a program that would include LGBT content that didn’t feel like it was "tacked on," according to the company’s research statement.
The role-playing game ("RPG" in gamers’ terms) is called "A Closed World" which revolves around the story of a girl who flees her village in the hopes of finding a more accepting place. Her lover, also feeling ostracized, quickly follows her lead-that’s the role the player assumes.
The game, which has an old-school feel to it with the simple graphics and easy-to-use console that allows players to move the character with the arrow keys, takes place in the forbidden forest outside the village. Gamers from the 90s may notice a similar landscape in Zelda.
Todd Harper, who calls himself the "client" of the project, said the artists used Zelda trees from Links of the Past in the early stages of development. Whether or not the nostalgia is part of the act, it works.
The process of developing "A Closed World" was an amazing team-building experience, said Harper. While the group of nine students and interns didn’t quite know where to start, a weekend celebrating Boston Pride and watching "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" allowed them to better understand the LGBT community and grow into a "tight-knit group" that became a key factor in the research process, according to Harper.