Last week I saw Angela Davis speak at Spelman College, and it really got me thinking about how to deal with the relationship between art and reality.
In the world of Nia’s Journey, I don’t want to reproduce the same forms of oppression that exist in reality because I would like people to be able to play and have fun without going through the same issues they experience every day. So, in that sense it’s an escapist fantasy, but at the same time I do want to explore the idea of oppression and particularly linked oppression.
Linked oppression was a central theme in Dr. Davis’ talk–she tied in the U.S. Prison-Industrial complex, the Palestinian-Isreali conflict, and racism in the women’s suffrage movement as fundamentally similar, and in fact, connected.
To my knowledge, linked oppression hasn’t been explored much in video games, and it seems like a relatively uncommon theme in other media as well. Too often we only “see” oppression when it’s explicitly directed against ourselves. I would like for Nia’s Journey to help make that connectedness a little more visible, even if only in “fantasy” form.