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Sola at FDG2017 – Representing Feminicide Through a Video Game

Posted by agustina

SOLA is a video game that explores the experience felt by a woman walking alone on the streets at night in cities such as Buenos Aires in Argentina. SOLA is part of a corpus of work framed on a wider research-creation project that aims to unfold diverse alternatives to approach the complex subject matter of violence against women and feminicide/femicide.

I am Agustina Isidori,  Argentinian artist based in Montreal currently doing the Master of Design at TAG, at the Department of Design and Computation Arts at Concordia University. This project is the result of a collaborative work between Etienne Brunelle-Leclerc and myself.

This past summer we had the pleasure to participate in the Game Competition at the International Conference on the Foundations of Digital Games (FDG). This year the theme of the conference was Celebrating the Player and the event took place in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

To better understand the essence of the game it is worth to mention, for those who are not familiar with Spanish, that “sola” means alone in its feminine form in Spanish.

How does it feel to walk with fear?

How does it feel to be afraid of your own environment?

These are some of the aspects explored in SOLA.

SOLA evokes a climate of tension and fear inspired on my personal experience growing up in a city where violence against women has always been a constant burden.

The game aims to create a climate of discomfort and anxiety, those feelings that many women carry with them while walking the streets at night. The dense and thick atmosphere and the ambiguity of the game’s goal goes in hand with the uncertainty felt by the player while walking the streets of this eerie city. It is a feeling of unease accompanied by the doubt of not knowing what could happen. A doubt that can be felt as an almost tangible burden of being continuously alert while doing something as simple as walking on the street.

SOLA was selected by the FDG jury to participate under the category of Narrative Experience. Etienne took a 11 hour bus from Montreal to Boston (probably one of Etienne’s worst experiences). According to official information, the lobster pizza served at FDG was worth every single minute of the bus nightmare.

Overall, the reception of the game was positive, people found the approach interesting and were excited to know more about the piece. We received insightful comments and suggestions. The game was understood as an art piece that uses video game design and technology in a socially conscious approach to discuss an extremely complex subject.

We will be doing a 5 à 7 at TAG very soon!

Stay tuned for more news!