Closed Hands is an unflinching work of interactive fiction exploring the long-ranging complex effects of extremism on a range of cultures and communities. The sprawling 130,000-word story is presented through bold interactive narrative across five core characters and dozens of additional viewpoints and perspectives.
Closed Hands examines the lead-up and aftermath of a terror attack in a fictional UK city, through the lens of five core characters and dozens of other lives brought together by the same event – the attack itself is intentionally never depicted, leaving the game to draw a complex picture of the reasons why it occurred, and long-last effects it had on people, communities, and the city itself.
The gameplay is a free-form fragmented narrative, allowing the player to weave their own paths through the story: both forward and backward in time. The story is told through interactive textual fiction, and the player can also engage more deeply in the narrative by exploring the desktops of the characters. This includes reading emails, exploring files, replaying conversations, finding secrets. Presented as an interactive digital story, the game will also challenge wider preconceptions users have about video game storytelling.
“We’re really excited to present CLOSED HANDS to new audiences, and we really hope that it helps push forward the idea that games should, and can, boldly hold up a mirror to our reality in new and interesting ways. The story is deep and complex, and presented in a way that we hope can be explored by both games audiences and those outside it, too.” – Dan Hett, Director of PASSENGER
The game will allow players to understand the complex effect extremism has on people’s perceptions of cultures and communities. Prejudices and racism that exist in the moments after an attack in many communities will be explored in this game, as will the tabloid and media reaction to sensitivity and empathy to those affected.