Baltimore, Maryland – August 1944: In Europe and Asia, World War II is raging. On the American home front, the production of defense materials is top priority. Munitions, shipyards, aviation and telecommunications production can hardly keep up with the demands of the war and 24-hour production lines are in effect. With the soldiers at war, the gates of industry swing wide and offer exciting new labor opportunities to women and to people of color.
But change comes neither easily nor equally. When the first African American inspector joins an all-white, all-female crew at the Western Electric Point Breeze Works, a wildcat hate strike is launched to reject her employment. Against the Grain fictionalizes this moment in history to explore the intersectional allocation of freedom and equality.
About the Game
Against the Grain is a larp for 4 players and a facilitator that plays in 3 hours including workshops and debrief. The scenario is based around a charged negotiation between characters embroiled in the situation. The tone is calibrated by the facilitator using directive meta-techniques, and the use of monologues helps determine the outcome of the story.
What People are Saying:
“Combining a racially fraught, impossibly difficult historical conundrum with tight, focused gameplay, Against the Grain is provocative, challenging, and deeply humane. It’s a window into a larger story that was deliberately buried during and after the war, and when you play it, you live it. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”
– Jason Morningstar, creator of Night Witches
“This is a beautiful game. It is simple to start up and run. Play the characters with empathy and intention and enjoy the incredibly satisfying storytelling that the game offers.”
– Julia Ellingboe, creator of Steal Away Jordan
“Brutal and eye-opening. Turkington has a talent for choosing a powerful historical moment and distilling it into conflict fed by people we can imagine ourselves to be.”
– Jessica Hammer, professor of game design at Carnegie Mellon University.
“It was an eye opening experience for the players and even though I knew some of the history and had listened to such stories from my family, it was fascinating to see the flashes of emotion going through the players. A fascinating window into a historical moment of intersection!”
– Misha Bushyager
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