A Moment Free From Darkness

Videogame series aims to humanize the victims of sex slavery

Sex slavery is a difficult topic to discuss, and one that can be challenging to turn into a videogame. Inflatable Reality, a team of experimental game developers led by Brian Schrank, has attempted to do just that with a set of four games chronicling the experience of a Cambodian sex slave. Known as A Moment Free From Darkness, the experiences span four different technologies and game types in an attempt to grow empathy between the viewer and the life of the young woman being depicted. The game is inspired by Schrank’s experiences living abroad and talking with women afflicted with…


A forgotten, decades-old game about slavery has returned

In 1988, Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 were released. The first Metal Gear was ported to the NES. Square Enix came out with Final Fantasy II, the second Zelda was brought to the US, and Mega Man 2 was published in Japan. A budding industry’s greatest hits were surfacing as consoles came into their own and series loyalties were set. The same year as all of this, French publisher Coktel Vision released a small game for the PC entitled Freedom: Rebels in the Darkness. Freedom, the brainchild of Martinican artist and engineer Muriel Tramis, shows little resemblance to its…


Pokémon as slavery

It took 15 years for the Pokémon series to start looking inwardly at itself and question its own ethics. By then, it comprised videogames, anime, trading cards, toys, a whole damn franchise that might—it just might—have advocated slavery and/or animal blood sports. This isn’t meant to be one of those “24 Facts That Will Ruin Your Childhood” type of articles but it might have the same effect if you haven’t put any thought into the Pokémon series beyond whether to have your Rattata attack with a Tail Whip or a Bite. Pokémon with the faces of wearisome middle-aged men  The…