Bi-Lines

cover (36)

Playing as a reporter for a small publication, we are able to write stories about ghosts. Stories that release them from this plane and help them find peace. We can see the ghosts. Talk to them. Touch them.

This mid-length choice game explores the impact of sexual assault. Playing as a bisexual character, we are assaulted by a ghost who, for reasons not entirely clear, finds this act of assault enables them to find the peace they were looking for. The remainder of the game looks at the impact on self, at the reactions of others, at the lack of understanding and acceptance even our most loved ones can exhibit.

I have played through three times now, and the game does branch significantly depending on the choices you make.

Potential spoilers ahead.

While well written, there is a confusion that isn’t fully explored by the text. There are two complex emotional issues here that wind in and out of one another. First is the self loathing, guilt and anger from the assault, then there are a similar set of emotions the protagonist seems to feel anyway about his own sexuality. This is explicit in the interactions with the spirit of his mother. Perhaps this is the point. This insecurity and self-loathing about who I am is the vulnerability that power can prey upon.

I get the feeling that the author shied away from a full depiction of rape. I understand why – overtly graphic depictions can often be detrimental and voyeuristic. But a stronger depiction would, I feel, have added more weight to the following narrative.

I haven’t yet found a branching that really explores ‘why’ the ghost was released by this assault. In one branch it is intimated that ‘pedophilia’ may have been involved, but this confuses me. I don’t get the connection. It would have been interesting to explore this further. Not as vindication, but as understanding. It could have added an extra layer of depth to this narrative.

In all, this narrative is a quiet success. I wish it had a little more depth and breadth. 7/10.

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