My Friend Sophie wrote an article for Existential Gamer about what it means to be a girl who plays games, and how people have considered the "Girl Gamer" moniker over time. It's a great read, and so I've linked it here. She also writes an incredibly kind and thoughtful bit about my own game, Exits North, South, and East, which I wrote on Twine without any flourishes or extra code in a minor panic before presenting at the Association of Art Historians conference in April of this year. It's sparse and simple, and still has all the typos I didn't bother checking for. Because I'm an egotist and this is my website, I wanted to take a minute and talk a bit about Exits.
It's only been up for about month, but it feels like a lot of my friends and colleagues have played this game, and taken the time to tell me that they enjoyed it. This is both flattering, and always surprising for me. I often feel like I am just making things inside of a vacuum -- especially as a postgraduate student, when a lot of my work is done in solitude.* From reading and writing to banging my head against a wall, sharing is not generally on the menu.
It's strange, then, to think that something I made for myself -- nervous, huddled under a blanket, and eating a vegan sausage sandwich -- then timidly shared on Facebook, has reached any kind of audience at all. Yes, it's an audience of my friends and a handful of colleagues and strangers, but it's an audience nonetheless who has been overwhelmingly kind in its reception.
The game is far from perfect, and if I wanted to, I'd go back and fix things like awkward sentence structures, word choices, shaky metaphors, typos, add new links, or take away ones that don't work with the overall theme. But I love it for what it is -- a snapshot of my mindset at a certain time in my life, sparse, spare, and unedited. It was meant to be a product of procrastination and an outlet for stress, but it seems to have managed to strike a chord with some people. I think we've all suffered a bit from imposter syndrome, or felt out of our depth, and it can be nice to be reminded that others feel that way, too.
*Unless you follow me on Twitter, in which case you have likely seen me simultaneously write an essay and die in real time.