Violet: a video game! In which you can be a lesbian!

Finally, an answer to this post, in which I pleaded with the world to bring me lesbians in movies and video games. Well, okay, I specified science fiction as well, but this is close enough.

Violet (walkthrough here) is an interactive fiction game (that is, text only) in which you are a graduate student attemtping to finish your dissertation.

Your girlfriend Violet has put her life on hold, waiting for you to finish, and she’s getting fed up. If you don’t get a thousand words written today, your relationship is over and she flies home to Australia. Unfortunately, your office is full of every kind of distraction, from the window overlooking campus hijinx to the computer on your desk, always ready to show you the latest blogs and web comics instead of your chapter-in-progress. So you have no choice but to shut out everything that’s causing you distraction so that you can turn in a few hours of solid work for once.

A friend sent me a link to this game a while ago and I got sucked in right away, but since I was playing in order to procrastinate my real work, I had to make myself stop. Today, though, I had free time, so I finished it!

It’s a very quick game, but quite entertaining. Text-only games can feel like they exist in barren wastelands (and often do, in fact) but because Violet is such a brilliant narrator here, I actually felt a stronger emotional connection to this game than most fancy-graphics big-budget games.

Your character is male by default, but all you have to do is type “female,” or, charmingly, “heteronormativity off” to play as a female character, and while a little bit of your backstory with Violet will change, she herself will not! It’s such a small, simple thing to implement, and yet it made a huge difference for me. It felt true to life before, with the ever-worse battle against procrastination, but with this switch it felt so true to life I played it twice just to revel in it (and explore the fun ways to lose.)

I wholeheartedly recommend this game if you have some time to kill (type “hint” if you get stuck) though maybe not if you have some work you should be doing instead. The irony might destroy the universe.


6 Responses to Violet: a video game! In which you can be a lesbian!

  1. […] Gender Goggles reviews “Violet,” an “interactive fiction game in which you are a graduate student attempting to finish your dissertation”—and in […]

  2. Shazbat says:

    That’s addictive. Truly addictive, like caffeine and Buffy box sets. Thank goodness I have the day off!

  3. eloriane says:

    Isn’t it? I love the little Australian pet names!

  4. Courtney says:

    what website is the game on

  5. Another Title…

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