I came into geekdom late in life because of socio-economic factors, which makes games like Life Flashes By extremely important to me: it is available for free by download and is multi-platform.
Life Flashes By is a game in which the player takes a journey with Charlotte Barclay, a novelist with mild success within the game’s universe, through her life and explores the possibilities that could happen (or could have happened). The mechanics are similar to a “choose your own adventure” story.
What I found to be refreshing about the whole setup is the complex personalities of the characters and the cynical realities that linger in the future. Charlotte is snarky and cynical, introverted and judgmental; she isn’t drawn with a typical “female” body nor does she pull any punches when dealing. She makes mistakes, regrets, learns, grows, and moves on. I didn’t find myself feeling like any of these paths were being presented as the “better” option as dictated by society. I applaud that aspect — in addition to all the others — of Kiai’s work. Another character, Trevin, is an impish pixie-like creature with wings and a squeaky voice. He has his own witty snaps and snark, though I felt he was a little underdeveloped as a whole. Despite my discomfort with some of the projected outcomes for Charlotte based on her decisions, I found Life Flashes By to be a solid game.
The development of this game was also partially funded by Kickstarter and y’all know how much I love that shit.
This quote from the Kickstarter page is what causes me to want to throw my weight (and that’s a lot of poundage, my friends! haha) behind Deirdra Kiai:
I firmly believe in using the medium of video games not only to entertain, but to express oneself, inspire others, and help make the world a better place.
I hope you’ll take a moment to play Life Flashes By and share with us (and Deirdra) your feedback. Keep an eye out for her other projects, and you can read Deirdra Kiai’s blog as well as follow her on Twitter.