Monday, May 16th, 2022

Dot House is a small game that tackles a mighty subject: the Black Housing Crisis

When Evan Narcissus was approached by Rise Home Stories about making a game that would eventually become Dot’s Home, he was already familiar with the many ways housing fraud could affect the American black community. I did.

Narcis experienced gentrification first hand, Redlining When Home flipping And how those actions prioritize the prosperity of a particular individual over the stability of the community. And he remembers when his mother became a naturalized citizen and was finally able to vote, and how his participation in democracy was tied to home ownership.

But he admits that there were many things he didn’t know.He didn’t know what Certificate instead of foreclosure Was or Community land trust..

“When it comes to housing, I didn’t know I could think about some of these issues in a different way,” he says.

As part of Rise Home Story Project, Dot’s Home, along with podcasts, children’s books, anime series, and several other works, is a larger collection of media aimed at informing the public about housing policy and related social justice work. Belongs to. Narcis signed to write the story of Dot’s House. Going back in time to visit the historical moments of her family, witnessing the multi-generational choices that led to the current housing situation, and related decisions about women taking their turn in major homes.

There he found that he was almost entirely of color and that the main vision holders and team leaders belonged to a female creative team. Many of them also have experience related to the Dot House theme, which helped shape their vision of linking it to a real story. For example, there is an elderly family who was a peasant before traveling to the northern city center. Another Neil Young lived in Detroit with his family and the basement was repeatedly flooded. The plot points were eventually used directly in the dot house.

I tried it from a place where I couldn’t really judge.


The team’s goals at Narcisse, Young, and Dot’s Home were educational. They wanted to tell a multi-generational story with a spillover effect on decision making. But they also wanted something personal-the motivation for individuals playing Dot’s Home to drive them, even if they didn’t personally experience the particular problems that the character had, the family. The desire to protect and care for, and ultimately the longing for personal prosperity as well as the offspring that can be easily associated. Through Dot’s house, they ask: What power do they exert when someone needs to move away from where they have lived for a long time? How do ownership, family, money, community needs, and personal ambitions all affect it?

“We tried to reach this from a place that was really undecidable,” says Narcis. “Some people want to own their own home, but there may be playful powers that make it harder for people with a particular background to do it than others. And fight those powers. As a result, you may tend to think more personally than collective. One of the things we explore in the game is Dot, her aunt, and can move forward financially. Another member of the family. It was because of what their ancestors did and the sacrifices they made. “

Then, through that emotional connection, Narcis aims to educate the struggle of black homeowners and to touch on the many issues associated with it.

“People have to make difficult decisions to secure their future, and all kinds of socio-cultural movements that are trying to make a wide range of changes make us individual sacrifices to activists from their lives. You have to take into account what you are asking for, “he continues. “If you’re helping to prepare for a protest or march, calling an elected representative, or doing any work that’s trying to make a difference in society, you’re giving up something from your life. It may be time, money, relationships, but there are sacrificial elements, and some people don’t want to sacrifice them. “

Young agrees and points out that he has experienced this in his life and career. Online, Young goes through Aerial_Knight. It’s the name he proudly gave to one of his games: Never Yield of Aerial_Knight, which unfortunately led to harassment emails and abuse. And he says it’s in the world of video games-it doesn’t even touch the offline world of protests, organizations, and social movements.

[Dot’s Home] It emphasizes stories that others in the gaming industry can’t tell … they need to attract people like us to get our point of view.


“I grew up in Detroit for the rest of my life,” says Young. “I’ve seen. I’ve seen these people lose their homes. My friend she lost her home because she auctioned people’s homes while they were still alive. And the people who buy them charge them the same rent as they bought the house.

“that is [Dot’s Home].. It emphasizes some stories that other people in the gaming industry can’t literally tell because they haven’t experienced it, they don’t understand it. They need to attract people like us to get our point of view. And especially this team, everyone was more or less on the same page and could really be involved in everything that was happening in this story. I think that makes this game really special. “

Narcisse frankly says that due to the small team and limited resources, Dot’s Home is far from the big budget AAA world, like Assassin’s Creed. But he says that not being Assassin’s Creed means they can do what such a franchise can never do without fear of shareholders and businesses: they can clearly tell a political story. I can do it.

“Yes, it’s about how politics and policy affect people’s lives,” he says. “And it’s about how these great, invisible and unquestioned forces affect people’s lives.”

But Young wants to express it more directly.

“I think the game industry is rubbish by bringing these stories into the room, especially when hiring blacks to create games and even fantasy games,” he says. “Look at all the medieval games that exclude blacks. I personally think the game industry needs to do better. And the more things created this way, the more games It’s just an example of what the industry hides or misses just because it doesn’t let us participate in conversations. People like it. [the Dot’s Home team] And all these incredible people are stepping up and trying to do something. I think that is the future of the game industry. “

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on twitter @duckvalentine..