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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Kai UnEarthed: a Game About Unpoliced Futures

Abstract is an interactive fiction video game that invites players to imagine liberated, unpoliced futures. Teenagers in the future encounter artifacts from our time as they go through a coming-of-age ceremony. This involves connecting with us, their ancestors, through interactive analog journals. The project was released in 2021 as a narrative prototype created in Twine, and a near-alpha prototype of the full video game was debuted at GLS 2022. While one of the designers played the game, the audience participated by shouting out suggestions for narrative choices; they also received their own journals, allowing them to interact with the analog game mechanics, taking home a personalized record of their journey. In this sense, the session was a cross between a Well-Played game analysis and a creative writing workshop. This demonstrates one possible use case for Kai UnEarthed in future critical game literacy learning spaces.

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