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Dustborn (graphic-novel style "road trip across a Divided States of America", 2021) - Information Thread, update: "Fascism, propaganda and weaponised disinformation: Dustborn is shaping up to be a war of words" (VG 24/7)


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Dustborn (Steam Store page)

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Lead a band of misfits and outcasts on a perilous road trip across a Divided States of America, in a story-driven action-adventure about hope, friendship, love, robots — and the power of words

 

Dustborn is a third-person, single-player, story-driven, road-tripping action-adventure about hope, love, friendship, robots — and the power of words.

 

Set in a vibrant and perilous post-infodemic America inspired by graphic novels, a band of misfits and outcasts must cross a divided continent to transport a mysterious package from California to Nova Scotia.

 

Dustborn takes the power of misinformation and weaponises it (GamesRadar+)

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Putting language at the centre of a game isn't a new concept, and it's certainly something developer Red Thread isn't a stranger to. Communication, and sometimes the lack of it, is at the core of its previous two games, Dreamfall Chapters and Draugen, but its next game is taking that focus on language to the next level by weaponising it. 

 

Living in this current climate, and at a point where social media is so prevalent, the power of language – and the misuse of it – feels like something we're having to contend with every single day. Red Thread's new game, Dustborn, which is due some time in 2021 for next-gen consoles and PC, takes the idea of using disinformation as a weapon on both sides of a conversation, with those words sometimes having physical effects on the characters you can interact with on your journey. 

 

Set in an alternative history version of America, sometime in the near future of the year 2030, Dustborn will see you taking a road trip across the continent. But it's not your average road trip story, as the band of travellers you gather together in your bus have powers – specifically weaponised words, fuelled by disinformation.

 

 

 

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Fascism, propaganda and weaponised disinformation: Dustborn is shaping up to be a war of words (VG 24/7)

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2016 was the year when it all went wrong. Draw your own conclusions as to why, but the global political direction starting that year left Ragnar Tørnquist and his team at Norwegian game studio Red Thread feeling disenchanted.

 

“Being a game developer right now, you feel like ‘what the fuck are we doing?'” says Tørnquist. “We’re writing and talking and making games [but] we feel kind of helpless and powerless and insignificant – a feeling of frivolity or pointlessness. I felt very strongly that I want to keep making games, but I also want the games to mean something and maybe have a positive social impact, as much as that is possible, but also without being preachy.”

 

Enter, then, Dustborn. The recently revealed title, which debuted at the Future Games Show, is set in a fictionalised America, gripped by fascism, divided by weaponised disinformation, and torn between the rival factions of oppressive Puritans and authoritarian Justice. Draw your own conclusions there, too.

 

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