Hey Blerdy Tribe!! It’s Monday once again and I want to kick off the week with some melanin friendly games! If this is your first time here at Blerdy Otome, welcome!
Every Monday I spotlight video games that focus on stories surrounding more diverse casts of characters—for folks like me looking for a bit more representation in their games. Video games are for everyone, so shouldn’t their stories and characters be just as diverse as the people that play them? So I created this series to celebrate games that strive to tell much more diverse stories centering on Black and Brown individuals. But, I welcome all diversity and the series has expanded to include games featuring LGBTQIA rep and characters from other underrepresented groups.
So, if you’re interested in seeing previous Melanin Friendly Games posts, click HERE. This week I’m spotlighting the 2D single-player game, Dot’s Home, a collaboration between Rise-Home Stories project and indie teams, Ariel Knights and Weathered Sweater.
DOT’S HOME is a single player game about DOROTHEA (DOT) HAWKINS, a young Black woman in her late 20’s living with her grandmother MAVIS HAWKINS in Detroit, Michigan. Following a cryptic conversation with her grandmother, Dot receives a MYSTERIOUS KEY. This key allows Dot to open a door within her house and travel to another space in time within her own family history.
In order to return home, Dot finds that she must interact with and influence her family members (MAVIS HAWKINS, KARL HAWKINS, and ALMA HAWKINS) to make important life decisions in order to receive a key back to her present, but Dot soon finds out that her journey to the past is steadily affecting her current reality…as well as the potential future.Official Synopsis
We Need More Stories Like Dot’s Home
For me, the indie scene has always been always been a good space for highlighting the experiences of creators from all walks of life, by giving them a platform to voice the human stories that often go untold in big budget AAA titles. But, what sets indie games apart is that they exist within a unique space between entertainment and education—and that’s why games like Dot’s Home are so important.
Dot’s Home is a production of the Rise-Home Stories project: a creative collaboration between multimedia storytellers and housing and land justice advocates who have come together over the course of three years, to reimagine the past, present, and future of our communities by transforming the stories we tell about them.
In the game we follow Dorothea (Dot) Hawkins, a young Black woman in Detroit living in her grandmother’s beloved home, as she travels through time to relive key moments in her family’s history where race, place, and home collide in difficult choices. We see the realities of navigating the injustices of everyday life in Black America through the eyes of a multigenerational family from gentrification to redlining to the many and varied ways the powers that be continue to neglect communities and people in the most need. This isn’t a fantasy or a peek into a futuristic world; rather a look into the very real and harmful issues that plague our society and it isn’t always pretty or easy to see.
But, that’s what I love about Dot’s Home, it doesn’t shy away from the hard conversations or stories, instead it actively seeks to peel back the curtain and shining a light on the forces at play that help some individual thrive, while others are left “scratchin’ and survivin’“. Growing up in the suburbs of Georgia you see all sides, folks barely making ends meet, folks living in modest family homes, and folks living in luxury and seeing that makes you step back and seriously consider the powers at play that lead to such a disparity. What are their stories? How does our past influence our present? How are our current circumstances influencing our futures?
Dot’s Home resonated with me because this isn’t a fantasy, this is the reality I see around me every day. The gentrification of DC neighborhoods like what’s going on near my alma mater, Howard, seeing mom and pop shops and people being systematically pushed out to make room for hipster bars and shiny live and play apartment homes. Growing up in the the suburbs of Georgia bouncing from apartment to apartment, while friends and their family lived in homes passed down for generations. Seeing my parents finally achieving home ownership just to lose it within the span of two years. Being a Black woman in 2022 and still having to navigate microaggressions and bias at every turn and still choosing to live my life and thrive by carving out a space and community for myself.
This isn’t just one person’s story, but everyone’s story and regardless of whether or not you are touched directly or indirectly by unjust systems, Dot’s Home is a call to action for people to stop and seriously consider where we are now and where we’re going in the future.
Play Dot’s Home!
More Info on the Rise Home Stories & Weathered Sweater
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.
Weathered Sweater is a Black-owned interactive media and art studio located in Vermont.
We are an award-winning studio that works on a variety of projects across different mediums. Many of our projects fall into the category of games or art for change, but we also work on products for the commercial retail market.
- Twitter: @risehomestories | @weatheredsweatr
- Website: risehomestories.com | weatheredsweater.com
- Itch.io Page: risehomestories.itch.io | weatheredsweater.itch.io