Trapped is a new browser-based computer game that takes players on a journey of getting an abortion. The game is designed to give the player a virtual glimpse of challenges that women often encounter when making the decision to terminate a pregnancy including cost, travel, and statewide laws.
Kate Bertash, the programmer for Trapped was inspired by a card game created by Women’s Health Specialists of Sacramento called “Walk in my Shoes,” which chronicles the path to abortion from the perspective of five different characters. The game version takes a more interactive approach where the player goes through the motions of discovering they're pregnant, arriving at the decision of abortion and then ultimately finding the necessary resources to do it. “I just loved the concept so much that I thought I’d give it another go with a variant of gameplay that I thought could come together quickly, and show off the work of the card game’s creators,” Bertash told The Daily Dot.
Bertash said she hopes the game will open people's eyes to the stresses of abortion that go beyond just the legal challenges. “I know lots of us support the ‘right to choose,’ but don’t often get exposed to why so many people can’t ever choose, including being boxed out by the expense or delayed past the time where it’s an option."
She continued, "I hope then that even people who know they support abortion already, who maybe already call their legislators or take other actions, can know just how much immediate impact it can have if we give to abortion funds as well.”
The game arrives at an interesting time, as the current political climate is rife with tension about women's right to choose. In 2016 alone, multiple states created legal roadblocks to make abortions harder to get, and the agenda to restrict abortion has only picked up steam in 2018 thanks to the Trump administration. The President and his team have already cut off funding for family planning research grants, citing “changes in program priorities.” Trump's latest policy mandates that undocumented minors in federal custody may not be granted abortions, even in cases of sexual assault.
The creators of Trapped are also asking users to donate to help Fund Texas Choice reopen their hotline in order to assist those seeking abortions in Texas.
Head here to play Trapped.