Every now and then, a game comes along that speaks to us. Over at IGM, this game is currently The Westport Independent, in the works for PC, Mac, Linux, and Android, where gamers can become the editor of an independent newspaper during a time of rebellion. It’s a censorship simulator game, where the written word is pretty much the most powerful, dangerous thing in the world. Obviously, we get that.
The Westport Independent is being developed by Double Zero One Zero (0010), and the basics of the game were put together in 72 hours as part of Ludum Dare 48. (The theme was ‘Beneath the Surface.’) Tensions are high, and it’s up to the gamer as Chief Editor to ensure that only the best articles get through. But, best according to whom? (Editor’s Note: Best according to me, obviously. – Vinny) In the same way that letting people across the border in Papers, Please is a difficult, sometimes morally-grey decision, printing an article in TWI takes thought.
Some articles paint the Loyalist government in a favorable light, while others expose risky truths that the rebels themselves are fighting for. How is one to choose a side, and at what cost will these choices be made? Adding further complexity to these moral choices is that the newspaper’s writers each have their own lives, families, and opinions. They not only write what they want to write, but sometimes what they need to write, in order to protect their family. Choosing to edit or print these articles puts yourself and these writers at risk, so choose wisely.
For more information on 0010’s The Westport Independent, wannabe editors can check the studio’s website, IndieDB, Twitter, and even try out the Alpha. Go, spread the written word, but be careful; not everyone will like what they read.