I’m here today with the illustrious Elsa S. Henry, historian-turned-game designer who has an MA in Women’s History. She’s not just a game designer, though, she’s the mind behind Feminist Sonar, and Bind Lady Versus, and is an advocate for disabled gamers and disabled women.
She, and a whole team of amazing people, are making a kick-ass game called Dead Scare. Today, I asked her five questions about the game and I hope the answers get you super excited about backing the Kickstarter. This is a project you don’t want to miss out on!
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1.) What *is* Dead Scare?
Dead Scare is a game by women and nonbinary creators, about women during the 1953 zed outbreak and the Second Reconstruction of America under the McCarthy Administration. It is a game telling stories of ordinary women in an extraordinary situation using whatever they have around them to protect themselves their families, and their gardens.
2.) Let’s talk about the alt-history roots of Dead Scare! What inspired you to write an alt-history game?
I’m an historian. I started out with looking at the stories of our past, and as a gamer I kept seeing stories we could tell through roleplaying games. At the same time, I find myself looking at genres that are popular within games. Apocalypse games and zombie games seem pretty “in” and after watching the Walking Dead with my husband, I realized just how much I disliked the way that women were represented in those genres. Women are not often the heroes in those stories. So. I decided to take a period in history where the genders were segregated enough during the day, drop a weaponized zombie virus into the mix, and see what happened when women were the ones rebuilding society.
3.) What unusual stories can you tell when playing Dead Scare?
4.) In running Dead Scare, have you had any interesting challenges as a GM? How did you overcome them?
It’s always a bit of a challenge for me to run games because I am legally blind and partially deaf. One of the things I have to do is make sure that whenever I run game I have a room with a door so that I can hear people. The other thing I have to remember is that I do get a bit anxious, and I know that’s something many GM’s struggle with. I like to make sure my players know that I will try my very best to not get tangled up in my own brain – the stories are what matter to me above all else. As long as my players and I can tell a good story, I don’t have to worry about anything else.
5.) Why should people shamble on over to the Dead Scare Kickstarter page and back it?