Content Warning: This is a game about autism, ableism, the pain of pretending to be neurotypical, and the difficulties that neurotypicals place upon autistic people. It uses a metaphor that paints autistic people as literally non-human, which I personally resonate with in a positive way, but understand can be uncomfortable or triggering for others.
There’s a story that sometimes, fairies take children away and replace them with changelings: fairy-children of their own, who have strange mannerisms like being unwilling to look others in the eye, being more articulate than their age would suggest, or speaking with woodland creatures. All your life, people have whispered that you were a changeling, because you didn’t act the way they expected you to, didn’t fit in the way they wanted you to. This is mostly a case of unreasonable expectations on their part, but at the same time… you do have a little bit of fairy magic, don’t you? You’re already on such thin ice, will you reveal that magic to the people you care about, even if it might alienate you even further?
Strange Changeling Child is a solo game played with a single piece of paper, two six-sided dice that you can clearly tell apart from each other, and a writing implement. You can also play with a digital notepad file instead of a pencil and paper, but I suggest analogue if you’re able.
Over play, you’ll narrate the story of a changeling who hasn’t yet told any of their loved ones that they’re secretly a fairy, but as play continues, those loved ones will find out, for better or for worse.
Thanks to Valis Teoh, Emily Care Boss, Al Cusack, Madeline McDaniel, Gaelyn Autumnsong, and everyone involved in the IGDN Diversity Sponsorship of 2020 for helping make this game a reality!
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