Final Girls [official site] is a game about women recovering from trauma. It’s named after a horror movie trope in reference to the last woman standing, and whilst it’s intentionally ham-fisted in its fan-fic-esque delivery – not to mention the caricatured horror/thriller movie hero lookalike cast – underneath lies an important message.
In the guise of a group therapy session, Kanane Jones’s Final Girls tackles themes of abuse and harassment and asks the player to engage the game’s characters in a bid to encourage conversation around sensitive subjects. Each character bears resemblance to a famous horror movie star – such as ‘Ellen’ a therapist who looks strikingly similar to Signorine Weaver’s Ellen Ripley character from Alien; or ‘Carrie’ who is dead ringer for Sissy Spacek’s Carrie White in Carrie – has survived trauma in their respective pasts and it’s up to you how far you push the discourse – taking into consideration the difficulty of exploring such complex and personal issues.
What I found refreshing about Final Girls was its bid to explore the aftermath of trauma, and how deep these scars can and do run. Whilst abuse and harassment are terrible things in and of themselves, it’s easy to forget the pain and suffering folk endure after the fact. Again, the characters and setup in Final Girls is purely metaphorical, yet beyond the purposeful lightheartedness lies a surprisingly deep interactive fiction game that explores very real themes.
Final Girls is free and can be found here, playable in your browser or as a download.