Type Game
Date 2020-10-01
  • Browser
Series IFComp 2020
Tags interactive fiction

Stand Up / Stay Silent

Stand Up / Stay Silent is a brief story--about fifteen minutes for all five endings--with an agenda: to promote the idea that taking action, any action, against injustice is preferable to staying silent.

It is positioned outside the game as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement, though within the game it's not clear what is being protested--some kind of unfair treatment of some people, in a far-flung future on the planet Mars. What's clear is only that the security forces are the Enemy.

There's too little story for us to become involved with the characters, and it's too on-point as a metaphor for current events. It is, for example, a little wrong in tone for the protagonist to say:

β€œBut I want to help,” you reply, your voice hoarse. β€œIs there a fund I can send credits to? Somewhere I could drop off supplies?”

This to your partner, who you have just taken to a fancy restaurant for a birthday celebration. It's distant, and it's the kind of scripted "gosh, but how can I help" that you might see in a PSA. After the opening scene, there is no more life in these characters--they are defined solely in relation to the resistance. They are not real people, merely actors in a piece of propaganda.

As a work of interactive fiction, it's limited. Transitions between scenes are only a single link at the end of a page of text, and occasionally a choice, either to Stand Up or to Stay Silent. It doesn't make good use of the medium.

As a piece of protest art, it expresses a real need, but as IF, it's not sufficient.

Name Role
Y Ceffyl Gwyn Developer