Quing’s Quest is a commentary as much as it is a text-based adventure game. It’s humorous, critical, and allegorical in nature, and its message may not be entirely clear at first. In the end however, it is an effective dive into the current state of both video games and the industry as a whole, even if I may not be entirely in agreement with it.
Anyone who knows me will probably know my passion for video games. I still remember writing to Nintendo at the tender age of 10, wondering how I would ever find myself in the industry when I got old enough. Well I’m old enough, and while my interests in the video game industry haven’t changed too drastically (focusing on video game voice acting now instead of programming), I still have a sense of camaraderie for anyone who considers themselves a gamer in this day and age.
That includes women, naturally. I run across people of all types through online gaming, and while I’m typically surprised over running across a girl gamer in my online matches, it is the good type of surprise (the bad type, for reference, would be someone so young they don’t even remember Spongebob coming out). It reminds me that gaming no longer carries the type of negative connotations that it once had; that it enables people all over the world to interact and play the same game without having to leave the house.
Unfortunately, there is a silver lining when it comes to video games, namely the recent backlash caused by a wave of misogyny collectively known as “GamerGate”, and while most of the gaming community has been quick to denounce this, it still carries a negative connotation that no one should aspire to, and yet it still persists to this day in some form.
QQ wastes no time making it clear that it has a message, but which one isn’t exactly clear from the start. Even the abbreviation of the title, QQ, resembles a crying emoji, a preview of things to come from the game. The character can choose to be any colorful type of character they want (right down to purple mohawks and black T-shirts with less than tasteful writing on them) and you soon discover that you’re the captain of your spaceship, the Social Justice Warrior. You want to make your way to planet Videogames, but you were being pursued. Okay, now this is a little more obvious. Whether this was a mockery or a homage I couldn’t tell…until the antagonists showed up, a bunch of men eager to lay on you and your partner with a bunch of minor crimes that honestly were so minor I can’t remember them right now. What followed was a hilarious assortment of escape options and none of them worked….except for dancing, for some reason. That had lethal effects for your pursuers.
What happened next was a little more heavy handed: to choose to defend video games, destroy them, or even walk away from them entirely. I liked the “walk away” approach even though it didn’t really leave a clear resolution, except for the idea that maybe videogames weren’t for you and your companion anymore….which admittedly would be borderline impossible for me to admit in real life.
In the end though, this was an exciting e-lit piece to cover, not just for all the video game homages that hit close to home, but the intentional delay of information until around the climax, that left me to decide just what the piece was actually about. It was a little heavy handed at times, but considering the subjects it decided to cover, sometimes less subtlety is better.