The Final Girls game is a free browser game from Kanane Jones that explores how we move on from traumatic events.
Final Girls takes place in a group therapy meeting, where a group of women are talking about their weeks and opening up about their worries, their trauma. There are some recognizable faces: your therapist, for example, looks a heck of a lot like Ellen Ripley from the “Alien” series.
All of the women in the therapy session are based on famous horror movie characters: hence the title, “Final Girls,” which refers to the lone woman who is usually the survivor of a horror movie. These characters don’t all technically fit that description (for example, Carrie is there). But the game isn’t so much about tongue-in-cheek horror movie references as it is about using these familiar tropes as a base to get into something deeper.
During the therapy session, you choose whether each woman will disclose everything that’s going on in her life or hold things back. They’re not talking about the specific events that traumatized them. They’re talking more about what happens once they’ve begun to move on with their lives.
“Something that I’ve noticed is that we tend to tell stories about trauma that focus on the traumatic event,” Kanane Jones told Polygon. “But we seldom tell stories about what happens after that, how people go on and live their lives.”
Carrie, for example, a victim of high school bullying, now runs a catering business and has just moved in with her girlfriend. As she recounts her week, she talks about a trivial fight that they had, which they managed to quickly resolve. Carrie thinks to herself that it was the sort of fight that would have lasted for hours when they were first dating, but they’ve both grown a lot.
In moments like this, Final Girls acknowledges all the stages of emotional recovery. “Success,” as defined by the end of the game, comes from encouraging openness and honesty from the characters.
As the women tell their stories, the game provides content warnings and allows the player to skip specific stories without penalty.
The game ends with all the women discussing their self-care activities. Self care is any activity performed by individuals to take care of themselves. This can be as simple as exercising and eating healthy, but in recovery circles it also often means anything done to soothe or show affection for oneself. In Carrie’s case, she’s taken up gardening. Laurie (from Halloween) is relaxed by grading her students’ papers.
Final Girls is browser-based and free-to-play, so you can play it right now (this page autoplays music). Despite dealing with some pretty adult content, it doesn’t delve into grisly details. The discussions focus on the women’s emotions and daily lives, not the deatils of what happened to them. So this game ends up being appropriate for most ages, though the it will be most engaging for someone seeking to understand what it looks like to move on from things that have hurt us.