A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

A cat wearing a hijab (an Islamic headscarf) boards the subway on her daily commute. What interactions await her over the course of her commute, and how does she react to them?

This is a point and click game for #ResistJam, and briefly explores the topics of diversity, inclusiveness, tolerance, racism, bigotry, sexism, Islamophobia, and homophobia.

Urban subways are a petri-dish of society. Diverse elements are forced into a confined space. This game explores what it is like to be on the receiving end of hate speech, and asks the question of what do we do when hate speech happens to us and to others.

To be clear: This is not a game about religion or theology. It's set in a game world populated by cute anthropomorphic cats! The game's goal is to help the player explore what it is like to be a victim of discrimination and hate speech, and also see the choices/consequences we have when we are bystanders witnessing hate speech/crimes being committed.

I would have liked to include more different vignettes to put the player into the shoes of other characters facing or witnessing discrimination or hate speech. The cat in the hijab was only supposed to be one of the vignettes, but there is only so much time during a 1-week jam, and I probably spent too much time on research and aesthetics.


Controls: Simple Point and Click

Move: Click at where you want to walk. Arrow Keys or WASD keys work too.

Interact: Left click on what you want to interact with. You'll see a different cursor for items that you can interact with.

Choices: In conversations, click on your desired response before the hourglass runs out.


Attributions

NYC Subway Train by Gorgisound (CC0), Tracks icon by Bybzee from the Noun Project, Speech Bubble icon by Curve from the Noun Project, Cardenio Modern font by Nils Cordes

Subway bystander vignette responses inspired by:
Maeril's illustrated guide for bystanders of Islamophobic harrassment


Commenters: Please do not feed the trolls. Off-topic comments attacking a religion/race, and rude/bigoted/racist comments will be deleted and banned.

Download

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macOS (v1.0.2) (46 MB)
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Linux (x86+64 universal) (v1.0.2) (50 MB)
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Windows (v1.0.2) (32 MB)

Comments

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This is cool! The aesthetics are great. Good palette, excellent models, nice use of minimalism to convey the subway car, and the sound design really rounds out the setting. The camera work is really polished, too.

I played it a few times. I liked the varied player responses to the insensitive cats getting on the train, including becoming a harasser yourself. I do wish the antagonistic cats' scripts varied a little depending on your responses. They seemed to deliver mostly the same lines on each playthrough regardless of what I said.

Thanks for playing! I appreciate your feedback.

This was a great game with an even greater message :) I'm glad I found this!

I covered it on my YouTube channel. I hope it helps!

Great work! This is a nice way to get people to think about these kinds of interactions and to put themselves in a different pair of shoes.

Covered this game on youtube! Very cute and informative.



Thanks you for the video!

Even though too direct for my taste, these events depicted here really happen in real world. I liked attention to detail in graphics like texture and animation (these things are mostly extra for jam games). Some things should be clear though, in Islamic culture hijab is worn not to affect men sexually with hair. Except next to their husband. However as strange as this rule is muslim women are mostly okay with it or their husband being the master because it's their religion. Surprisingly this is not even written in Quran. Some also wear it because it's a tradition or they got used to wearing it.

Not to be misunderstood, I'm okay with whatever thing people want to wear. Just some things actually have functions and not just related to fashion or identity. Like wearing a wedding ring to show that you are married.

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Thank you for sharing and giving some background on the hijab in the context of Islamic culture, which does vary quite significantly around the world.

The game mirrors situations faced by different people on the New York City subway. The choices listed in the game for why a woman might choose to wear a hijab were paraphrased from different answers that Muslim-American women gave on their personal reason for why they choose to wear the hijab, despite the discrimination they faced.

A woman in Iran today would probably have a completely different answer for why she is wearing the hijab in public (e.g. she'll get fined and/or punished if she doesn't). I agree - it certainly is affected by country/laws, religious interpretation, and pressure from society and local culture.

If you enjoyed my game, you can see a much better, and much more eloquent real life version of it - a woman beautifully shut down a racist passenger who was harassing a Muslim couple on the NYC Subway just a few days ago:
Video with subtitles
Article in The Guardian

(Edited 1 time)

Hello! I really liked your game, it was an interesting way to show off the rather difficult topic and you did a marvellous job in doing so. Also the simple art style and the dialogue is very well done! I made a let's play of your game here. I can only hope that things get better as society moves forward :)

Thanks for the video Kathryn!

You're most welcome! :D

I think the concept is brilliant. The art style and use of cats can attract so many people, raising awareness for the issue. The dialogue was well written, and the ability to choose to keep your cool during the situation is great. I'm glad some characters react to that. Great great great job!

I live in Iran and I have a question. Do people really treat muslims like this in other countries? If yes (Wow) , it must be difficult for muslim people to live in such countries. Fortunately there are many many nice people who give them hope to live in a country they like.

And thank you for making this game. The message was very understandable and a true tragedy.

(Edited 1 time)

Unfortunately, yes, these incidents occur. There has been a sharp increase in the past year, not just against Muslims.

Some scholars believe that the violent backlash against Muslims is driven not only by the string of terrorist attacks in Europe, flood of refugees to Europe, but also by the political vitriol from Donald Trump and far-right politicians/candidates who have repeatedly used Anti-Muslim rhetoric, and are trying to ban immigration from Muslim countries, and enact laws discriminating against Muslims.

Very troubling and relevant, I read in the news yesterday, that the European Court of Justice (the EU's top court) ruled that employers are allowed to ban workers from the "visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign" including headscarves.

I don't know about Europe, but at least here in America, most people are against this type of hate crime, which has been increasing not just against Muslims, but also against Hispanic and Latino people, against the LGBTQ, against African Americans, against women, and even against Asian Americans like myself. The majority of Americans are against these hate crimes, and speak out either in protests and demonstrations, on social media, by calling their politicians, or even by making little games or art.

Unfortunately, there are too many people who do nothing about it, and there are still too many bystanders who do not want to get involved when the hate crime is happening. In some parts of America, the population is not very diverse, and has little exposure to non-Christians or non-Caucasians, other than what they see on TV, and they watch right-wing biased news channels which spread anti-muslim anti-immigrant fear to keep and increase their viewership. It's really a war of media and memes - do we choose fear or do we choose empathy?

How is it in Iran recently? I understand that women are forced to wear the hijab in public or will be punished or fined. Ironically, before 1979, women were banned from wearing the hijab, like some places in Europe currently. What is the opinion among demographic groups in Iran about the forced hijab? What do you think about the future of hijab restrictions as a young Iranian? (Are you allowed to speak about it without getting into trouble?)

Sorry but I can't talk alot about it. because whatever I say about this subject, I may be labeled as a spy. because I don't even know what I shouldn't say. (I know it sounds funny even for ourselves)

Unfortunately people here got quite used to it and they do nothing in particular about this problem. among these some women like to have hijab and there is no obstacle for them about wearing hijab. but some people don't like to have this and they are trying to make it something evident. the real difficulty is for these kind of woman because sometimes they get arrested or get insulted by the police forces.

I don't really know what would happen. I can't even affect a typical problem about my society or country! how can I even think about affecting this important issue!

People here are not very unified. most of the times they don't care about each other. so if society or country conditions ever need any change, they won't do something in particular. the first problem is people and the solution is the same.

nevertheless we are in a tolerable situation than some other countries.

Thank you for sharing about this. Stay safe!

This is a lovely little game. It excels in art style and at conveying its message. As someone who regularly catches public transport through the city, there's a lot of knowledge to take away from this game. Great work!

Thanks Olivia!

Good concept, well executed technically and artistically. It really feels like an urban subway wagon and conversations are something you can find every day. I like the way it ends (at least if you are kind).

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I used the cute artistic style to try to disarm potentially hostile players a little bit, so that they might be more open to hearing the message that the game has to say.