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Text Adventure Game through Bloodchild

rubikscube's picture
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After first reading Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild," my immediate conclusion was that the egg-implanting Tlic were evil and monstrous, and the Terran, who seemed to be human-like, were helpless and should be pitied. After our discussion in class about this short story, I realized that the relationship between the Tlic and the Terran is much more symbiotic than it is parasitic (after all, the Terran were referred to as "hosts"). It's obvious that the Tlic need the Terran to host their young, since without them, they would be unable to reproduce. But the dependence on the Tlic by the Terran is not as clear. If the Terran had simply refused to host the Tlic eggs, it would not be possible for them to survive alone on the Preserve. They needed the Tlic for protection and for survival.


This picture shows how I designed a text adventure game allowing a person to take on the role of either a Terran or a Tlic. They live in the Preserve and must make decisions about how to survive and coexist with the other species. As a Terran, you learn that you cannot simply run away from the Tlic, as you depend on them to care for you. However, allowing the Tlic to use your children as hosts also does not turn out perfectly.

Through making this text adventure game of "Bloodchild," I wanted to explore the complications involved with these two very different species trying to coexist. In the game, there is no right way to win. Even if as a Terran you manage to survive in the Preserve, you have survived at a cost.

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Buraphalinuxserver's picture

bloodchild game

Is there a link to download the bloodchild game source or a .z8 file or something? I cannot find it anywhere. I saw the video on you-tube, but then no way to actually play the game which made me sad.

Liz McCormack's picture

winning at life

What a creative way to represent the moral, ethical and personal trade-offs underlying this short story.  Your game deepened my experience of the story.  Playing it, or watching you play it!,  I found myself thinking for the first time of the title "Bloodchild".  I hadn't thought to ask this before.  Does bloodchild refer to the Tlic's children or to the Terren's children.  It could be interpreted either way.  I also found myself thinking about the information content in the original story and your game. How do they compare?  Only one set of events is presented in the original story whereas your game makes explicit several different possible scenarios.  However, one could argue that the potential of those scenarios is also present in the original story, that is what makes it such a compelling read.  Which version would you say contains more information?  More meaning?  And what about the dimension of time?  In the story the possible scenarios seem to exist all at the same time.  In playing the game they occur in a linear sequence.  What might Barad make of these two representations?  Which would feel more "real" to her?



rubikscube's picture


I'm having some trouble with putting this game in a browser, so that's why I made the video. I'll try to figure this out so everyone can play the game!