We are entering a time where video games are being used to tell more diverse stories, as being the trigger-happy white male protagonist is not the only option for today’s gamers. Gone Home told the beautiful story of a teenager struggling with homosexuality, while Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons used a unique control scheme to illustrate the power of a strong bond between siblings. As video game storytelling evolves, we are seeing more and more of these touching narratives permeate the medium’s ecosystem. SumoBoy, a top-down RPG recently listed on Kickstarter, looks to continue this promising trend.
SumoBoy, by the Australian studio TAPRR, tells the story of Oji, an overweight young orphan who is bullied daily by his peers. After his long lost mother, revealed to be a princess, appears to him in a dream, Oji sets out to destroy the evil spirit that has been keeping her hostage for years. He also learns that his father is a legendary sumo master, inspiring him further. Throughout the story, Oji will use his compassion for others to help him find the strength to defeat those who look to bring his world down. The touching story details Oji’s transition from victim to hero, ideally inspiring players who have been victims of bullying themselves.
TAPRR is seeking $100,000 AU in order to create SumoBoy, with a $400,000 AU goal set for a console version of the game (the PlayStation 4 logo is listed near the top of the Kickstarter page). The game also boasts one of the most interesting backer rewards in recent memory (other than Shaq DJing one’s personal party), as the lead designer will tattoo your name on his back for the small price of $8,000 AU. The Kickstarter page is outrageously detailed, complete with diagrams illustrating exactly where the money will be spent. With its inspiring message and unique sumo gameplay, it is difficult to see SumoBoy not receiving overwhelming backer support.