I chose to play a game called A Closed World. I chose this game because it addresses queer issues which are very controversial right now. In the game you play a character who lives in a suppressed village surrounded by a forbidden forest that is full of hungering demons that could destroy the village. Your beloved is tired of the oppression and decides to go into the forest because anywhere would be better than home. Your goal is to enter into the forest and face the demons in order to find your beloved. I thought that the beloved you would be searching for would be the same sex as your character but the beloved is actually the opposite sex. Therefore you character would be considered straight.

At the very beginning of the game there is an introduction monologue that describes how many aspects of our lives depend on the answer to one question. That question is "Are you male or female?" In the monologue it points out what we wear, how we interact with others, and even who we love depends on the answer to this question. I was immediately intrigued because I had never thought of this idea before. The monologue made me conscious of my own cultural model that is something like, "Men and women are equal and are treated equally in our modern society." I realize this may sound naive but I have always believed that as a woman I can do anything a men can do. During this monologue a new cultural model was brought to light that was something like, "Every decision we make is based on our gender." I feel like I was aware of this cultural model on smaller scale decisions such as the clothing we were but I never considered it on a larger scale decision such as who we love. From the very beginning he game used the cultural models about world principle. At the end of the monologue, I had to choose whether I was male or female. I chose female since I am female. The game uses the identity and self-knowledge principles by asking me to choose a gender which helps develop my character and the monologue helps me learn about myself.

Then the game had one screen of directions that told me how to move and interact with the environment. The game is played in a third person perspective. When the game starts your character is in the middle of the forbidden forest and your goal is to find and defeat demons. I began wandering around and found a demon. I pressed space bar to interact with the demon and this sentence appears on the screen: "My brother fuming before me. He never could control his temper" Then you are taken to a new screen where you have a few different options to defeat the demon. You can use logic, passion or ethics. There is also a life bar for your character as well as one for the demon. The goal is to use logic, ethics, or passion to defeat the demon before your character runs out of composure. Depending on the demons argument different approaches work better than others. You also have the option to take a breath which allows you gain some composure back or to walk away. At first I just guessed and tried all options to see which one worked the best. I also tried to imagine I was actually arguing with someone and tried to figure out the best way to combat the demon's argument. Eventually I defeated the demon and was rewarded with a video clip that gave me more information about the oppression my character was facing. The game uses a combination of the intuitive knowledge principle by asking me to identify with the character and use previous knowledge I have about arguing to combat the demons' comments. It also uses the probing principle leaving room for trial and error as I try different approaches in order to defeat the demon.

There are five different demons and then at the end of the game your character escapes the forest and finds a rock with some words of wisdom about acceptance and perseverance. I feel like overall, the point of the game is to introduce players to a new cultural model that specifically highlights the problems the queer community faces. The game does this by having the player defeat demons (aka win arguments) about why you and your beloved are normal and have the right to be together. I found the basic ideas behind the game very interesting but playing the game itself was not too entertaining. I feel like it could use a little more pizazz. All of the arguments are written in word boxes. I think the game could use some actual talking. I also would like more options when fighting the demons. As the player, you can only choose to use logic, passion, or ethics but you do not have any options on what you actually say and in order to defeat the demons the best strategy I found was to continue to use the same option until the demon changes his strategy which got a little old. For example, when the demon uses "bigoted curses" the best response is to respond with passion. Your character will say the same phrase every time he or she responds with passion to this particular demon. I would have liked options on what my character actually said. I feel like this would have made the arguments more realistic and allowed me to identify with the character more.

Overall, I thought it was a neat little game that could be used to help students become conscious of new cultural models just as it did for me. I could see a teacher using this to teach empathy or to help students accept their queer peers.