For those of us who are adults: how many of us remember what’s it like, as a child, to not understand issues? How many of us had an active imagination and difficulties voicing our problems?
A pro-gamer-turned-game-developer-turned indie game developer named Josh Long is attempting to tackle these issues with Oscar, a 2D platformer.
“Oscar is a game that uses interactive media’s objective stance to raise awareness of real-world issues like single parenthood and bullying; we never tell the player what’s going on or how they -should- feel about it and this is key to dealing with sensitive material,” Long explains.
In Oscar, the player controls a young girl clutching an elephant companion, Flynn. As she daydreams and travels through seemingly normal settings, like forests and towns, something starts to give. Under the fantasy are darker elements, shady figures, and unsettling sights and sounds. Through art and sound, the small team of Team Sharkeye wants to convey the difficulty of finding a voice to explain everyday troubles lurking in the psyche of a child. Slowly, the player will grow to empathize and identify emotions, without the help of audio logs or lost journal notes.
Long wants to create a meaningful gaming experience to stand out in today’s triple-A and indie game markets.
“I’m here because I’ve experienced too many perspectives on what slows the industry from forging ahead in what interactive media can do. There’s nothing wrong with zombie games, shooting aliens or saving the world (games that capture our imaginations), just like there’s nothing wrong with boy bands or dubstep; We eventually grow up and want something different, something with more substance with which our more mature selves can identify (games that capture our experiences).”
Check out how this looks in the trailer above, and for more detailed information, including music tracks, check out Oscar‘s Kickstarter page.