Art from My Canceled Game about the Gender Wage Gap
Between March 2009 and September 2016, I devoted my skills as a male feminist game developer to create a third-person action R.P.G. about the gender wage gap in America. Sadly, not every game comes to fruition. After years of work and much of my own money, Gender Wages of War will never be released, but I can at least give you a small taste of what would have been the most ambitious and progressive A.A.A. title in video game history.
Our protagonist was a female warrior named Hero (pronounced “HER-o”). She has Susan B. Anthony’s fierce spirit and my mother’s looks.
Hero found out she was affected from the gender wage gap from her platonic male warrior friend, Guyfrind who told her that the King of Disproportia was paying her 80 shillings for every rupee Guyfrind made, even though she was an objectively better monster slayer.
Seeking to silence her, King Chauvin banishes Hero to the desert realms after she confronts him about the pay discrepancy. Thus would have begun Hero’s epic quest to traverse the treacherous landscapes of Disproportia to find Chauvin and get the raise she deserved.
Below is a rendering of an inspirational character Hero encounters early in the game. Her name was Chieftain Rhonda Feinstein, a shaman of woman’s studies, in the traditional outfit worn by her desert tribe of progressive female warrior scholars.
Gender Wages of War would have featured companions, useful in combat and for carrying extra gear, like armor or menstrual pads. I was in the early stages of building a menstrual cycle survival mechanic before I shelved the game. Six pieces of wild cotton and an abalone shell could be crafted into a menstrual pad. Not wearing one could attract ferocious beasts.
My favorite companion was a mercenary named Goodman.
He was a strikingly handsome, chivalrous former knight who so believed in Hero’s quest for respect and agency that he insisted she take him along to help, no matter how many times she said: “No, I got it.” His only flaw was that he cared too much. Physical similarities between myself and Goodman are purely coincidental.
This companion was from a race of cat-people called the Felinus.
Hero could’ve had multiple Felinus companions, but any more than three and townsfolk would mumble their concerns for her sanity.
The Chadfolk, pictured above, were the primary enemy type. They were men whose misogyny so corrupted their souls that they physically transformed into beasts. All that remained of their former selves was a spiky haircut permanently hardened by beeswax that they used as a weapon.
The final boss fight would have been an epic, multistage Dark Souls-inspired battle between Hero and King Chauvin, whose hatred of women had transformed him into the powerful Lord of the Chadfolk.
I would’ve loved to have seen if players were up to the challenge of this difficult fight with the fate of fair pay for women across Disproportia hanging in the balance. Sadly, that won’t happen. Gender Wages of War could have changed the world, if only I didn’t have to devote so much of my budget to the harassment lawsuit that ruined my game development career.
Katie Goldin’s Golden Rules
Weekly comics from the mind of Bunny Ears writer Katie Goldin. They're weird, they're funny, and they're always so pretty! The Goldin Rules…