I made this thing, for Ruin Jam, a game jam by novelist, game designer and speaker Caelyn Sandel. From the site,
“Ruin Jam is a game jam celebrating the nonexistent demise of video games, inspired by a lot of current events and a certain blog post. It’s open to anyone and everyone who has been, is being, or plans to be accused of ruining the games industry. All Ruiners are welcome to contribute to the death of video games, provided that they adhere to the spirit of the jam.”
And here’s Social Justice Ice Cream Shoppe, which you can play for free:
So, a little context: I was feeling sort of tickled at the way “skeleton” language gets misused and tossed around, so I put out a tweet asking for examples of “social justice ice cream flavours”, and got plenty of clever replies, many of which ended up in this game with permission. I thought that maybe making something light to poke a little fun at the very idea of social justice language as comical would help me bring my feelings of frustration over the past few weeks into perspective. By making it fun and kind of a joke, I feel like I have more control over this thing, that it isn’t something that can hurt me. It’s just delicious ice cream.
I don’t know what it says that I “quit” games writing, which is only to say I’ve quit the twin beasts of the game industry and the offshoot community of corporate media, and then put out a “game.” I guess it helps that by more than a few normative standards this is barely a “game”, so there’s that. I intend to talk about what this means for me and the site in more detail in another post, but in short, I’ve quit the industry but not the form.
To give credit where credit’s due, here are all the folks that helped inspire Social Justice Ice Cream Shoppe:
I think that’s everyone. (If I missed anyone, sorry. Just let me know and I’ll add you in.)
As for the song, it’s the third movement (Minuetto and Trio) of Mozart’s suite, “A Musical Joke.”
“A Musical Joke (Ein musikalischer Spaß) K. 522, is a divertimento by W.A. Mozart, finished in 1787. Parodic in nature, it is sprinkled with clumsy repetitive figures, toghether with passages designed to mimic the effects of inaccurate notation and poor performance.”
This was really cathartic to make.