In ‘Dot’s Home,’ Your Choices Are Often Illusions


“What are the consequent choices people face that a player might get and understand and lead them to think about their own lives or question their own experiences or the experiences of their elders,” he says. There was a lot of reflection and conversation between the developers about these general issues, such as opportunity and progress, compared to staying rooted in the community.

Another framework that the game development team wanted to focus on was the illusion of choice, where the game, like reality, does not always take into account the player’s motivation for the decisions they make. This is a concept that sometimes frustrates players, as games are such an interactive medium, but in Dot’s Homenot having all the “right” options up front was exactly the point.

As with all video games, “someone else designed the system without your intervention. Someone else made the system for you, and you play it and then, whatever result you get, that’s what you get, which is very similar to the U.S. housing system, “says Rosales.

Luisa Dantas, project director at Rise-Home Stories, spoke about gaming at SXSW this year, in a panel that discussed how games and gaming technology can be a tool in the fight against structural inequality. Dantas said the audience for the game should be black and brown people, because housing inequality affects them the most.

Given this target audience, Dantas understood that these players are starting the game knowing that the system is being manipulated and that they are playing with a limited and hindered set of choices. These narrative decisions reflect existing systemic inequalities that limit access to safe and affordable housing for all communities except the wealthiest. In addition to these limited options, players need to think about how their choices will affect their neighborhood and not simply focus on the needs of Dot and his family.

“There is also a direct disapproval of this idea of ​​this kind of toxic meritocracy,” Dantas says. “This individualistic idea is about your personal responsibility and your personal choices. And if you just made the right set of choices, x, yiz would happen. “In the game, as in reality, sometimes you can do everything” right “, and the community is no better, because many factors are out. of your control or influence.

Rosales describes it Dot’s Home as a “values-based game.”

Courtesy of Rise-Home Stories



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