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Play this: 'Coming Out Simulator 2014' is a harrowing game about difficult choices

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Where game play is rewarded with empathy, not points

Everyone's "coming out" story is different. Depending on the person's environment, the experience can be anything from an uplifting release to a traumatizing reminder that certain demographics are still cruelly stigmatized. Game developer Nicky Case chronicles his own tale in an interactive fiction piece called Coming Out Simulator 2014.

a half-true game about half-truths Contrary to what its light-hearted name suggests, the actual game is both harrowing and poignant. It opens with an introduction to the protagonist, a faceless yet witty caricature who explains that Coming Out Simulator 2014 is set during one momentous night in 2010. Depending on the choices that you make, that decisive evening can vary dramatically in tone, with physical violence being one of the many repercussions you might face.

There is not much actual game to Coming Out Simulator 2014, which functions like a choose-your-own-adventure book. At various points, you'll be asked to click on certain options before events roll on. Coming Out Simulator 2014 was made for the #Nar8 Game Jam, which requires participants to finish games within a limited time span. Both the game and the source code can be downloaded for free, although Case welcomes donations.