A video game that is currently in development will aim to create empathy for women seeking an abortion, as its players attempt to overcome various challenges to end their pregnancies.
Choice: Texas is the invention of professor Carly Kocurek and self-professed feminist and Buddhist Allyson Whipple. The two state that they decided to create the game in light of the laws that have been passed in the state of Texas, which they believe place “burdensome” restrictions upon women seeking an abortion.
“Texas women seeking abortion face considerable obstacles, even if they are financially stable,” the women outline in a YouTube video promoting the game. “Those who can afford abortion still have to deal with mandatory ultrasounds, biased counseling, long waiting periods, parental consent requirements for minors and contentious legislative changes that could cause a number of Texas clinics to shut down.”
Kocurek and Whipple also opine that women face “class-based restrictions” to abortion, “such as income, job flexibility and transportation options.”
Therefore, Choice: Texas aims to create “awareness, understanding and empathy” for abortion-minded women.
While the game is still in development, details and plans have been released in an attempt to generate interest. Players can choose from various difficulty levels and select from one of five characters, all of which represent women seeking to obtain an abortion. One of the characters is a 19-year-old bartender that is living with her parents, and another is a 35-year-old lawyer that is in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend but doesn’t want to have children with him. Other avatars will include a high school student, a mother facing a “high-risk” pregnancy and a woman that lives below the poverty line.
“I would hope that this game would put a more concrete, human face on the issue, that players would not see these women as evil or shameful, but understand the difficult–often impossible–situations they’re in, and the difficulties they faced in making and achieving their choice,” Whipple told Persephone Magazine.
Kocurek and Whipple state that they plan to promote their game at conferences and events, and are currently working to raise money to finish the creation. However, many have been horrified at the concept of Choice: Texas, and find it disturbing that the practice of ending the lives of unborn children can be reduced to something as trivial as a video game.
“Will the game … actually show the true horrors of images of babies dismembered, acid-burned, torn limb from limb, skulls crushed, suctioned and slaughtered?” one commenter asked. “The whole story isn’t being told if they leave these facts and images out of the game. The fact that someone may have ‘difficulty’ obtaining an abortion pales in comparison to the suffering and pain and innocent baby undergoes in the process!”
“Whatever happened to Mario Kart Racing or Sonic the Hedgehog?” inquired Cortney O’Brien of TownHall.com. “Shame on Kocurek and Whipple for developing a game that misleads kids into thinking pro-life legislators are the villains and abortions are worthy causes for which to fight. Abortion restrictions should not invoke ’empathy,’ but celebration. Yes, having a baby does cause some financial strain, but one important avenue I’m sure Choice: Texas does not provide gamers is the option to guide characters to crisis pregnancy centers, many of which are more than willing to help struggling mothers.”