Immigrant Father Studios, founded by Cards Against Humanity’s Karlee Esmailli, launched its first Kickstarter campaign today for a satirical visual novel called The Super Patriotic Dating Simulator. According to Esmailli, an Iranian-American, this game was designed to convey her complex feelings about “America, the Middle East, and [her] clitoris.”
The game follows Elodie, an average 19-year-old horny American girl who just happens to be a CIA super-spy trained to infiltrate and take down ISIS in the “best summer ever!” It’s designed to satirize the sexualization of dating sims as a genre, undermine the terror of ISIS and challenge the “dehumanizing, inaccurate, atrocious politics of American perception of middle eastern people,” Esmailli said in the Kickstarter’s Artist Statement.
It’s an ambitious list of very heavy topics, but the glimpses of the project on the Kickstarter page show just how Esmailli is planning to handle them.
Parodying the overly sexy character bios in dating sims tailored toward men, the bios of The Super Patriotic Dating Simulator show off the targets’ chiseled bodies; lists their likes and dislikes (they all dislike America); details their occupation (ISIS has a community and brand manager, because, of course); and most importantly, reveals their penis size (scrawny Omar apparently has an 11-inch dong). The main character, meanwhile, will question the rigid notions of female sexuality.
The bios are just the tip of the iceberg. The gameplay clips and screenshots are brimming with ridiculous characterizations of the “dateable” characters and the main character herself. The ISIS flag in the background is composed of dildos, butt plugs and other sex toys. There’s an option for “Identity Protection” in the Kickstarter rewards. Every last detail of this game is so over-the-top that it just might work.
The Super Patriotic Dating Simulator is intended to be an expression of Esmailli’s personal experience, and she wants to make it clear that it is in no way intended to promote ISIS or make fun of Islam or Muslim people.
“This game is anti-I***. We’re mocking I*** itself, and we’re mocking American racism that uses I*** as a representation of Islam and all Middle Eastern people,” Esmailli said in the game’s FAQ. “This game is NOT making fun of Islam or Muslim people.”
The Kickstarter runs through Aug. 25. $15 gets you a copy of the game and $25 gets you the “Identity Protection” perk — the option to opt out of having your name on the credits. For $5,000, you can be a character in the game, a prisoner of ISIS to be rescued by Elodie.
Immigrant Father Studios is seeking $42,069 to make The Super Patriotic Dating Simulator. The game is being developed for Linux, Mac and Windows PC, and is expected to be released in December 2019.