We Are Chicago, from indie developer Culture Shock Games, puts players in the role of Aaron, a young African American teenager on the cusp of graduating high-school while surviving the daily grind in the South side of the Windy City. The game tackles subjects like gang violence, the allure of peer pressure, keeping his family safe, and trying to find hope in a world where everything can seem hopeless.
In this dynamic episode of the Popzara Podcast our own Nate and Nia combo talk with Michael Block, the game’s creator, lead programmer, and sole financier about taking risks to bring an unusual narrative to an industry that seldom takes risks. Also discussed are the need for diversity in game development, authentic representation, the sad realities of inner city violence, the inspiring power of Professor Walter E. Williams (look him up!), and much more.
Notably, Culture Shock Games has partnered with All-Stars Project of Chicago and Reclaim Our Kids, two non-profit organizations dedicated to helping underprivileged inner-city kids reach their full potential and avoid dangerous pitfalls along the way. For more information check out their respective sites to see how you can become involved.