Elizabeth Nolan Brown: A Feminist Video Game Anita Sarkeesian Would Hate?

Jan 8, 2015
Op/Ed
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oldest game

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown

First, choose your city: Toronto, Vancouver, or Montréal. Next, decide whether avatar Andrea (Andréa, if you chose Montreal) will work on the streets, in a massage parlor, or as an escort. Then try to get screwed literally without being figuratively fucked by the cops—an ultimately no-win situation when it comes to The Oldest Game. Developed by a team of Canadian academics, the project is meant to highlight how the country’s new prostitution law, C-36, makes life more difficult and dangerous for Canadian sex workers.

oldest game

The law, which took effect in December 2014, “continues to criminalize various aspects of sex work, often removing safeguards and strategies that place sex workers in dangerous situation, placing at risk the very vulnerable people the bill ostensibly exists to protect,” note the game’s creators.

Through various encounters with clients, colleagues and law enforcement in three difference Canadian cities, players will experience how the legislation changes the way sex workers live and work, and play through the additional challenges sex workers will face when trying to remain safe.

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