Mother, Player

Angela Washko (2022)

Mother, Player is an experimental narrative video game featuring pregnancy and early parenthood stories from artists during the global pandemic. Set within a backdrop of the tense 2020 United States election and a terrifying new international health crisis, players explore the maternal healthcare industry and parenting culture as a burnt out pansexual artist who has decided to have a child despite an increasingly discouraging geopolitical climate that deprioritizes and devalues care. The game additionally addresses the lack of multi-dimensional pregnancy and early parenthood stories in video games—something that the game developer herself became sensitive to and critical of after becoming pregnant, giving birth, and taking care of a newborn during this isolated and uncertain time. All of the interfaces, animations, fonts, buttons, dialogue boxes, and icons have been hand drawn and animated by the artist, as part of a commitment to building a poetic, soft, labor-intensive, and complex game-world reflective of the childcare experiences she and the other artist parents have had during the pandemic.

The project is currently in-progress, and a demo version is available for exhibition and to view upon request. Contact information available here. The full project will premiere in April 2024 at Works Progress Administration Gallery in NYC and will be available online in full shortly after. Stay tuned for announcements!