Bathroom Dash

Bathroom Dash

Organisation: Mic (United States)

Publication Date: 06/16/2016


WHAT IS IT AND WHAT TOPIC DOES IT ADDRESS? Trans rights is the civil rights battle of our generation. The stakes are too high to ignore it. Bathroom Dash is game centered on educating the public about the unique struggles affecting trans community. It’s an immersive game in which players navigate the world as a trans person trying to access a public bathroom aligned with their gender identity. Public bathrooms have become the battleground of the trans rights movement. Policing public bathrooms is increasingly common and inspires transphobia. It's an assault on the trans community’s safety and identity. WHAT GOALS DOES IT ACHIEVE? FOR WHICH AUDIENCE? In playing Bathroom Dash, players must overcome countless obstacles on their journey to the bathroom. The obstacles are physical barriers. Each represents an instance of discrimination or violence the trans community has faced. As a player, you face the obstacles first-hand. You are followed by a cisgender counterpart who, unlike you, faces no obstacles. Your journey to the bathroom is dangerous and complicated. It channels the journey many trans people feel when trying to use a public restroom. This immersive journey is instructive. Players learn by doing. In playing, the trans struggle is no longer an abstract story that affects others. It affects you. After hitting an obstacle, you learn about it. In some cases, it's an act of violence against a transgender person. In others, it's discriminatory law. Players have the opportunity to read about the specific obstacles they hit, as well as take action themselves to fight for transgender rights. For example, they can participate in campaigns and sign a petitions aligned with the topic of the obstacle. In the future, users will submit personal transphobic experiences to appear in the game. Our target audience is socially & politically engaged, and is tech-savvy (mobile & desktop versions of Bathroom Dash are available). The game is built to educate a broad audience about trans rights and transphobia, an issue often under-reported, which leads to general misunderstanding. IF APPLICABLE, GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF THE MONETIZATION PLAN FOR YOUR PROJECT. There are two ways this project can be monetized: 1) Additional elements like "lifelines," which are rewards that enable the player to avoid obstacles, can be sponsored units by companies or individuals who have engaged in the trans rights fight. Examples of sponsors here may be Target or PayPal, companies that have publicly fought for trans rights through corporate practice. 2) Sponsors can partner with Bathroom Dash by funding public awareness campaigns. These campaigns would feature a large interactive version of Bathroom Dash around cities. For example, around public bathrooms or in public subway stations or during Pride month. People can play the game in the company of others. The group interactive experience will facilitate conversation and elevate the discussion surrounding trans rights.

Technologies used for this project:

We chose to use JavaScript and Node for this project because a) it has a ton of support and b) it's what our engineer is most comfortable with. Because the game involves many different objects moving in different directions at the same time, we chose to use an HTML5 canvas element for all of the game's animations, while using traditional HTML elements for buttons and calls to action. Because we wanted to make the game as lightweight as possible, we didn't use any third-party modules for animation, instead rolling our own sprite and animation logic. In fact, the only dependencies we used were Express (to serve our game) and a dependency called Mobile Detect, which detects whether or not the page is being shown on a mobile or desktop device so that we could adjust the controls accordingly.
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