Dot’s Home, a 2021 IndieCade Impact Award-nominated video game launched on October 22, gives players a chance to explore the harmful systems that dictate our relationship to race and place. IndieCade 2021, the International Festival for Independent Games, recognizes games that “explore social, cultural, and/or political issues in a whole new way.” Dot’s Home, which NLIHC helped create, is a single-player video game that follows a young Black woman in Detroit living in her grandmother’s beloved home. Dot travels through time to relive key moments in her family’s history where race, place, and home collide in difficult choices.
Dot’s Home inserts the player into scenarios where they have to make choices about how and where to live in the midst of redlining, urban renewal, and gentrification. In doing so, the game asks players to grapple with a fundamental question: “How did your family end up where they are today, and how much choice did they have in that journey?”
The release of Dot’s Home comes at a time when America is reckoning with a racist legacy of inequality in housing and land that continues to impact communities of color, leaving them vulnerable to displacement and predatory real estate practices. “Our goal is to use the game to spark robust and courageous conversations about this country’s fraught history with racialized housing and land policy, while also illuminating our role in creating a vision of a just and equitable future that can become reality,” said Luisa Dantas, project director of Rise-Home Stories Project, which developed the game.
Rise-Home Stories is a groundbreaking collaboration between multimedia storytellers and social justice advocates seeking to change our relationship to land, home, and race, by transforming the stories we tell about them. Dot’s Home was created by a team of housing justice advocates from NLIHC, Texas Housers, Public Advocates, and United for a New Economy (the team from the Rise-Home Stories Project) and an independent and award-winning BIPOC team including lead developers Neil Jones (Never Yield), lead artist Sanford Greene (Bitter Root), lead writer Evan Narcisse (Spiderman: Miles Morales), Weathered Sweater, and composer Natalie White.
The housing and affordability crisis is urgently felt from coast to coast, in small cities and rural parts of the country. The COVID-19 pandemic, the lifting of eviction moratoriums, ongoing and aggressive gentrification, continuing foreclosures, and a predatory real estate industry combine to make a stable home in a thriving neighborhood largely out of reach for most Americans, particularly Black and brown communities. Dot’s Home aims to expose the generational impacts of racist land and housing policies while planting a long-term positive vision for our collective future.
Dot’s Home will be available for free on PC/Mac on October 22 and on mobile in November 2021.
Learn more about the project at: https://www.risehomestories.com/
Download Dot’s Home at: https://tinyurl.com/24356r29