The research team Class and Games—featuring members from TAG as well as mLab—studies socioeconomic class in video games. Their latest game prototype (released on January 24th via Itch) is called It Comes in Waves—created by team members Mia Consalvo, Michael Iantorno, Lyne Dwyer, Tamyres Lucas, and Courtney Blamey—and is a narrative-based Twine game about the lived existence of essential workers during a global pandemic.
The prototype began as a way for the SSHRC-funded team to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic manifests differently based on social class. It begins from the notion that workers in the health care sector are “essential,” despite their continued existence in precarity. What does it mean to fear for your health and safety when going to work, particularly when the gist of your employment is to provide health and safety to others? What does this all mean with the added context that your livelihood depends on fulfilling your employment duties, despite the aggravated risks and fear accompanying it?
In the game, you play as the character Beattie, who works are a caregiver at two different facilities during the first few months of the pandemic all the while navigating the ways in which she can try to stay safe while doing her jobs.
You can check out the game via itch.io, and read on via the article on the TAG website. For additional information, and to learn more about the Class and Games research team, visit their website. For more information, email Dr. Mia Consalvo at firstname.lastname@example.org