From Fast Company:
It’s 2039. You’re a hacker named Chloe living in the East Asian surveillance city-state of Abraxa. Once apathetic, you reconnect with old friends and find new ones as your district is blocked off by a mysterious corporation. Quickly, you set about disrupting its surveillance network by hacking into the city’s architecture with machine-aided perception, forging political alliances across ideological divides along the way.
This is the world of Solace State, a 3D visual science fiction novel about a near-dystopian future. Made by Tanya Kan, in collaboration with other Toronto-based artists and developers, it is an attempt to fuse three worlds of particular interest to its creator: cinema, gaming, and activism. Solace State, which is still in development, tackles various themes, from corporate surveillance and governance to ethnic roots, immigration, and economic justice.
Kan, whose academic background is in political science and cinema studies, tells Fast Company that Solace State grew out of time she spent in Hong Kong in 2012. Though Canadian, Kan has roots in Hong Kong. While living there, she quickly noticed a city in a deep state of rapid cultural and political flux. For one, a major housing shortage was hitting one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world. She saw people struggling to feed and shelter themselves and their families. Kan queried Hong Kong residents about how they motivated themselves to find decent food and housing, stable jobs, and careers, as well as care for their city’s environmental health. These conversations formed the basis for the Solace State script.
“I started thinking about how I can represent East Asian culture in a way that is in an interactive medium, and how can I talk about an emergent kind of activism and advocacy,” Kan says. “I took a lot of pictures of [Hong Kong] as photographic records so I could build up a 3D city. I wanted a story that articulates some of our generation’s concerns in the sense of what kind of life do we have, and how can we find a future worth living for.”
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With this concept in mind, Kan began searching for a format that would fit the story. Ultimately, she decided to combine her cinematic and gaming influences into a 3D visual novel. Given the format’s inherent interactivity, Kan wagered that it would allow players to make difficult choices in striving for social change, while also creating (and maintaining) social cohesion.
Link to the rest at Fast Company
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.