On December 6th 2014 (the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada, commemorating the l’École Polytechnique massacre in Montreal in 1989) Bill C-36 officially came into force. Replacing Canada’s previous laws on sex work, which were struck down as unconstitutional on On December 20th, 2013, the new bill have drawn a great deal of criticism for being even more dangerous to sex workers than the old legislation. While the government has maintains that the bill, dubbed the the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, will make conditions safer, sex workers and their allies have campaigned actively against the bill for placing sex workers much greater risk.
The Oldest Game, a newsgame developed at Concordia University in Montreal QC, seeks to demonstrate how Bill C-36 will impact the lives of sex workers in Canada. The bill continues to criminalize various aspects of sex work, often removing safeguards and strategies that place sex workers in dangerous situation, placing at risk the very vulnerable people the bill ostensibly exists to protect. The Oldest Game allows the player to assume the identity of a sex worker and experience exactly how the legislation will impact the life and work of those it most directly affects. Through various encounters with clients, colleagues and aw enforcement in three difference Canadian cities, players will experience how the legislation changes the way sex workers live and work, and play through the additional challenges sex workers will face when trying to remain safe.
The official trailer for The Oldest Game is now online, and development of the game is in the final stretch! The design team will soon be reaching out for beta testers to play through an early version of the game, and can’t wait to release the final product.
The Oldest Game is being developed by Lisa Lynch, Sandra Gabriele, Amanda Feder, Martin Desrosiers, Stephanie Goddard, Ben Spencer, Esther Splett and Natalie Zina Walschots. Follow us on Twitter too!