Game Review: Don’t Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain’t Your Story

Don't Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain't Your Story Artwork

I was eager to play this game after playing Digital: A Love Story (and if you want to check out my review of that then click here) a previous game by Christine Love, and one that was both her breakout game, and to which this game was considered a “a spiritual sequel of sorts” because I both admired her writing style and game design choices so felt confident that I would enjoy this game as well.

Anyway, this game is called Don’t Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain’t Your Story, bit of a mouthful and I don’t like to pad my word count, so I’ll refer to it as DTIPBIJAYS from now on, or at least for the most part. Anyway, this game was released on April 4th 2011, by Canadian writer and game designer Christine Love, who I was lucky enough to get an interview with and if you want to find out more about her then check that out here. Much like the previous game, this is a visual novel made on the Ren’Py game engine, but both games are visually distinct and largely dissimilar in terms of how you play them, and yet you can feel something similar in the core game mechanic, namely interaction via technology.

DTIPBIJAYS follows a high school teacher in the year 2027 who is able to see personal/private messages from and between his students, because of this another strong element of the story is the concept of privacy which has evolved since our time. As the full title alludes to and much like the previous game by Christine Love that I’ve reviewed, this isn’t your story, you’re choices aren’t vitally important, instead you are meant to just experience the narrative which is both well written and engaging as well as surprisingly frustrating because you truly get absorbed in the high school drama, as well as the personal lives of your students, and yet even as you get absorbed into it you realise that you can’t necessarily change what’s going to happen, you just need to go along with it as a passive observer in the story, which in and of itself speaks volumes about the issues of privacy throughout the game.

The game is fairly simple, fluid and easy to understand and you navigate the game mostly via technology, watching and reading and just experiencing things. It teaches you a lesson about how easy it is to become disconnected behind technology, for example the teacher interacting with his students is not necessarily an issue but when spying on them and engaging in potentially inappropriate discussions it can become a more thorny subject…no pun intended.

Now I usually prefer games which allow for multiple unique playthroughs and different storylines, so largely linear games hold less appeal for me but this game is a strong exception because it just works so well, I mean you have to deal with your students and try to help with their issues while not letting on that you have been privy to their private exchanges. You can also interact with a wide variety of students, several distinct personalities that flesh out the game and at least three endings which lead to an overall enjoyable narrative driven game, so If exploring issues of privacy, technology and the usual high school drama sounds appealing then you’ll want to grab yourself a copy by clicking here, to get it on Windows, OS X or Linux.


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