Putting the player's needs at the forefront
Content warnings are becoming pretty commonplace nowadays. For those who are still unfamiliar, content warnings (or trigger warnings) let people know about potentially sensitive content an experience offers in order to prevent any discomfort for those participating. We’ve seen content warnings for movies and TV shows in recent years, and now gaming is getting into the practice as well.
While a handful of games have taken considerable steps with content warnings, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist takes a huge leap in what it offers. I Was a Teenage Exocolonist literally offers a content warning menu right from the start, letting players ‘spoil’ things for themselves before getting into the game. Again, this lets sensitive players ease themselves into sticky situations, making for a smoother, more enjoyable experience overall.
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist writer and cartoonist Lindsay Ishihiro was the mind behind these content warnings, and in an interview with Polygon, they explain the decision to include them.
“We’ll tell you right at the beginning, ‘Here are the major content warnings.’ And then give the choice. If any of these are related to something that’s your trigger, click on the button and get lightly spoiled. This was really important to us because we’ve seen, in the indie sphere, a lot of games be unexpectedly dark and it having a knockback effect on their audiences. We’re not perfect, but we can at least try to get ahead of some of it. What else can you do but try?”