‘Aisha’ is a personal game that situates a hijab-wearing player character through a maze style game. The “keys” collected to advance to the next stage act as "checklist" items to becoming the ideal modern Muslim woman. It is a commentary into the construct of the Muslim woman that leads up to a vague end– the end of the game positions that perspective as a question that is asked for the player to reflect on. The different levels of the maze to obtain the keys also outlines the turns that each Muslimah take in order to fulfill a personal checklist in following the idealized social norm.
The title takes from the ‘Aisha’ character in Ayat Ayat Cinta (2008) and notions of the same "empowered Muslimah wife" trope asserted in popular culture products.
Playing the game
'Aisha' is a personal game that tells a story through play. The golden key is the true key to access the door– obtaining only the blue keys will not let the player proceed to the next level. Aisha moves onto the next level having fulfilled a part of the checklist in becoming the ideal woman, which is a constructed social norm highlighted as part of this thesis. As the levels go, there are more keys scattered around, but only the golden one "unlocks" the door.
Games hosted on Scratch are also at varying levels of difficulty and simplicity and explore themes that are fun but also maintain a safe environment for people of all ages to enjoy. Scratch was initially a technology marketed for young people to learn and create through coding, as mentioned in their ‘About’ section on the website. Although the “childlike” quality of the website is both welcoming and easily underestimated, the user becomes part of a community of Scratchers in cultivating and gaining new tools for creative making. This belonging in a community of creators is a future prospect that can be explored for collectives of Muslimah who create games as a way to share their stories.
In spirit of using democratized technology, Scratch (scratch.mit.edu) is used to create, share and post this personal game. Scratch is a place to also learn coding through tutorials and create games by remixing other user’s work– a simpler way of “sampling” games while also maintaining the credit of the original creator.
This project is part of the OCADU Digital Futures 'cyberhaze' Online Graduate Thesis Exhibition, 2020.
More projects are on view at dfthesis.com
© Carisa Antariksa 2020