Social Justice Warriors?
When I first came in contact with a pretty little pin from Indiecade, I was expecting a funny little side-scrolling adventure where a social justice warrior cleaves through an imaginary internet with a gigantic agenda. Little did I know that this game was going to be more than using metaphors as props.
What does it play like?
A 1vX gauntlet game of Rock-paper-scissors with health bars that govern your accuracy and damage rate. You plow through “trolls” while trying to maintain your sanity and reputation. (You do this despite being identical to the troll, character-wise.) You basically do some small-scale resource management, stomp on the egos of those who would dare oppose you and desperately hope that you can suffer through inane comments or popularity sabotage.
Why is it special?
It has the best game title at Indiecade. Bar none. It also one of the few games where people who normally hate trigger warnings are basically wishing they had trigger warnings in this game. Seriously.
Whenever there’s a game with any small amount of controversy, I’ll purchase and play it, then squeal as I read comments about an experience that I have full context on. Overall, the game has all the fun of reading about people reacting to Mountain, but with substantially less introspection about how one feels purchasing a screensaver. This game is making people mad on both sides of the fence. Just wander around the Steam Greenlight page comments.
Is it as SJW neutral as the developer claims?
On the surface, no, but after playing it for half a day, I’m quite convinced there is no winner. Your first bits of combat dialogue will inevitably oversimplify the viewpoints of anti-social justice folk. The trolls do spout some zany nonsense, ranging from what you typically hear parroted in a Facebook comment dropped on a trending story to CAPS LOCK. This is primarily because the game’s writing is created in the perspective of you, a mighty champion of social justice issues. Your primary attack on the sanity of your enemies is labeled logic. Like many, your social justice warrior interprets logic to be pure, unblemished power. However, the game doesn’t necessarily follow the narrative of what your character believes.
You expertly dismember the claims with your logic.
Your logic has no effect!
In not so uncertain terms, the Social Justice character is an unparalleled know-it-all that crumbles underneath general stupidity or dies to not being in the social media limelight. Wonderfully damning stuff.
Basically, all actors in this game are silly caricatures. If the game makes you cringe, then you are likely too invested in worthless social justice conflicts on the internet. The fact that people are worried whether this is for or against social justice demonstrates the relevance of the issue, but this game just floats above, being beautifully judgmental in its own smug fashion.
Pick it up at Nondecimal’s site for a buck if you’re ready to check other people’s privilege.