Coming out as LGBT is possibly one of the hardest things a person can do in today’s world. Despite decades of gay, lesbian, bi and trans activism, the ultimate decision to out oneself still largely rests on the individual’s own shoulders and, while many areas of the world are far more accepting than they once were, it’s still a daunting prospect. To help navigate folks through such a difficult decision, web-game developer Nicky Close recreated his own coming out story in a web-based text-game. The player gets to relive every awkward moment.
That’s not entirely correct, but then again, Close opens the narrative by reminding the player that this is a story of half-truths. You play the game in a style reminiscent of a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel (dates me, huh?), carefully picking and choosing your answers under your parents steady barrage of accusations, questions, and threats. Some of the things that are said are the actual words spoken during Close’s coming out. Some are simply things that might have been said—and the responses that would likely have resulted.
Close is not alone in his quest to aide others in coming out – his decision to make the game in the first place was heavily influenced by Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign, in which the noted Seattle sex columnist made a video campaign with his husband telling gay kids buried in homes where they couldn’t come out that their lives would eventually improve.
We’ll keep mum on the details of how things play out between Close and his strict immigrant parents (expect a full review soon), but suffice to say, however you see yourself or your sexuality, Coming Out Simulator 2014 is worth a few minutes of your time.