Let's Talk: Acceptance - The Fight For Acceptance
Let's Talk is a series about talking, that much is clear. I talk about specific games, the impact a game can have on the wider community, about recent events, or how past events have shaped what is now. I ask you read this article first before listening to the video, but without further ado, Let's Talk about:
Acceptance is a Twine game created for people are not trans to help them understand the life of a trans person in the early stages of transition. It takes you through the most basic of scenarios, from picking a gender to picking which bathroom you use. Throughout the game, you are presented with choices, with a catch, no matter which choice you pick the outcome will always be negative. The game takes all player agency away from them, simulating how a transgender person must feel when faced with a situation most have an easy answer to, like the aforementioned bathrooms. You may look like a gender, but in your head are not that gender, so where do you go?
Thinking caps everyone!
Let's not spend time discussing how good of a game this is, if we did then this is would be very short. Acceptance isn't much of a game to be frank, it's not supposed to be. It does have some very nice hand-drawn art, and a lovely melancholy soundtrack, but Acceptance is all about asking you to think and feel than to enjoy the mechanics. It tells the deeply depressing and distressing story of a trans person in the early stages of transition.
You may read that and not care about what someone thinks, or feels. There are many who don't, and you should be aware of how you are perceived by others. We all live on the same planet, and we should work together to make it as good as possible, what's the fun in living alone? Acceptance shows you how you could be part of the cause for one of the worst possible events, someone's attempted suicide.
The biggest question the game asked
Acceptance asked me a very deep and personal question, it asked me, "do you look down on others, or blindly judge?" To which I don't have the answer. I feel like I'm open to others beliefs and accept them for who they are, but at the same time, I don't necessarily agree with that belief. But do I need to agree with a belief to accept that someone thinks that way?
I keep thinking about this quote:
I don’t agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
We don't know who said it, but it has been sitting in the back of my head ever since I played Acceptance.
What else do I speak about?
- The story of the game, and actions you take.
- Questions of why people feel the need to discomfort themselves.
- Questioning myself, and if I put my beliefs into action.
- Asking if it's easier to empathise with gay/bisexual than with transexual ideas.
- Asking if we are able think about yourself from anothers eyes.
- Are games a way of sharing experiences others have with what they feel, with others that don't feel the same way?
Questioning the questions
I want to put a few questions to you, and maybe you won't be able to answer them, but maybe you can.
- Have you ever been put into a situation where a simple choice simply isn't?
- Was there ever a time where you maybe overheard someone being insulting towards someone, and you wanted to speak up about it?
- Has anyone ever spoken to you aggressively about your appearance? Have you ever done this to another?
- Have you ever had someone phone you, and the caller addresses you by the incorrect gender? Did it make you feel bad? Insulted? Would a trans person be affected in the same way?
With that to mull over, I will leave you to watch/listen to my vocal cords make sounds that you can interpret into words for your hopeful enjoyment.