DescriptionHush is a short sociopolitical game inspired by the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, the darkest period of the Rwandan Civil War. It was created by two MFA students from the University of Southern California Interactive Media Division, for their fall 2007 Intermediate Game Design and Development course. Unlike the broad strategy setting of Darfur is Dying by a student from the same course, Hush has the player relive the historical events through a personal experience - helping the Tutsi mother Liliane with her lullaby to keep her child silent and thus hide it from the Hutu.
Liliane is prominently shown on the right side of the screen. The story is told through a view through a window on the left side, along with music and sound detailing the events. The player needs to type in the letters of words spelled out on the screen (hush, brave, child, sleep, young, rest, ...), in a timely fashion - when they light up bright. This will keep the lullaby in tune and the baby will grow silent. Pressing the keys too early or too late will grow the baby restless and a soldier patrolling outside will draw closer. Successful matches, with a response time much longer than similar games, will keep the story going. When the crying becomes too loud and soldier gets too close, the entire screen fades to red and a gunshot is heard.
As a game, it is best described as an aesthetic, visual and auditory experience, or a vignette - a brief and subtle description to give a trenchant impression about the character and the situation.
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Related Web Sites
- Hush (Download the game, free of charge.)
- Persuasive Games: Videogame Vignette (A column discussing the game, on Gamasutra )