DHSGiT: Race

Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble is set in America in the 1920s. This much is clear from the mentions of Prohibition, which becomes a prominent part of the plot at one point. But there are some apparent anachronisms. There’s an occasional bit of music that sounds out-of-place to me, too boogie-woogie for the period. But apparently, even though boogie didn’t hit its peak of popularity until the late 1930s, it existed as a distinct form as early as the 19th century. How likely you’d be to hear it in a well-to-do suburb is another question.

Which brings us to the matter of racial issues. “What racial issues?” you might ask, especially if you’ve played the game. To which I respond: Exactly. The people of Brigiton, blinkered and hypocritical though they are in many respects, are remarkably enlightened when it comes to race. The high school itself is integrated; there are at least two black playable characters, and they’re simply accepted as dangerous high school girls, no different from the rest. One of the teachers is black — a woman, in fact, who teaches science and math. Not only that, she has a romance subplot with a white man, and, while there’s quite a lot of worry and hesitation on both sides there, there’s no suggestion that this would in itself be scandalous.

Of course, this isn’t a realistic game. It’s comically distorted — I’d call it cartoonish, but the style makes it more reminiscent of a slapstick silent film. This game is to the real 1920s as the more usual CRPG setting is to medieval Europe. It takes the setting as a flavor, not as a binding contract.

1 Comment so far

  1. Keith Nemitz on 11 Mar 2011

    That’s right. The story deals with women’s issues and sexuality. We deliberately avoided all sorts of social problems a small American town in the 20’s typically had and too often still have. We hope what the game focused on was found to be worthy social commentary.

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