Video game about Chicago promotes everyday life, less focus on violence
By Jeff Herndon, FOX 32 News at Nine Co-Anchor - bio
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
A new video game being released focuses on certain Chicago neighborhoods that happen to be in the middle of the city's violence problem.
However, there's no shootings or beat downs in the game; just a family with real life problems and life choices, just like everybody else in Chicago.
Michael Block wanted to know more about what it’s like growing up in some of the city's toughest neighborhoods.
"After doing a lot of research, there was a really interesting story there that needed to be told," Block said.
To tell the story, he created a video game called ‘We Are Chicago.’
"You play as a high school boy who is about to graduate from high school," Block said. "You have to make choices on how you will protect your friends when they get into trouble."
The main character is Aaron. He has a sister and several friends.
"These are people I grew up with, people I have known all my life, and people I saw in the streets and avoided," said Tony Thornton.
Thornton, a longtime Englewood resident and writer, worked with Block and penned most of the dialog for the game.
“I know what he thinks and what he feels," Thornton added.
Thornton hopes the game will give people a better idea of what it's really like to live in a neighborhood like Englewood. These neighborhoods have hardworking people who want what everyone else wants: a good life.
But the violence, still, cannot be ignored.
"That’s not all there is, we are trying to present the whole picture. But we can't ignore the violence, so I had to write about that too," Thornton said.
Block said that beyond telling a true story, he hopes ‘We Are Chicago’ will get people asking questions; the right questions.
"Why is this the norm? Why is this how things are? Why do people accept these situations? It’s an eye opening experience," Block said.
Block also told FOX 32 News that those who have played the early version of the game were very curious afterwards, which is what he wants. He is hoping people will use the game experience to look into the issues facing neighborhoods like Englewood.
Block also hopes 'We Are Chicago' will be available for PC by October.