Valet Hustle mixes iPod gameplay with social message

Valet Hustle mixes iPod gameplay with social message

A new puzzle game that appeared on the App Store this week could indicate whether iPhone- and iPod touch users will mind a little advocacy along with their gaming.

The game, Valet Hustle, is an addictive puzzler with anime-style visuals that puts you in the shoes of valets who have to park and retrieve cars at nightclubs in New York and Tokyo. But there’s a social message as well—the two main characters in Valet Hustle are gay, and developer Factory Games makes no bones about the fact that it favors gay rights in general and equal marital rights for gays and lesbians in particular.

In Valet Hustle, you assume the role of Akira or Ren, who manage a restaurant’s valet services. “The back-story shows that both are regular people. They’re not stereotypes, they’re not clichés,” said Andrew Littlefield, co-founder and CEO of Factory Games. The goal with Valet Hustle, Littlefield adds, was to create characters “who aren’t dominated by their sexuality” but whose lives will develop through the game’s planned expansion packs. “Hopefully you’ll develop some sort of empathy for the characters.”

While Littlefield downplays the significance of the characters being gay, he also recognizes that gay rights is a controversial subject. There aren’t many games that deal with social issues, but Littlefield sees that changing. “Including social commentary in games is the same as including social commentary in a situation comedy,” he said. “I see no reason why [games] can’t be used as an agent just as TV and film have.”

Read the full article at Yahoo News