Hey Listen Games

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Emily is Away

“Emily is Away is an interactive story set in a retro chat-client. Create a screen-name and choose your path through the branching narrative.”


AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) radically changed how people communicate with each other. It was really the first time that people communicated in real time over the internet. Email existed, but that was a much slower form of communication. You actually had to check to see if you received any emails. With AIM, your friends could actually see if you were online and a chat would automatically open if someone started a conversation with you. We no longer needed to be face-to-face with people in order to have conversations. It laid the foundation for texting which is currently the most prevalent form of communication between adults in many countries. 


Emily is Away takes this medium and turns it into a short story. It’s a visual novel where the player can interact with the story. While the plot of the game is mostly linear, the player does get to choose various dialogue options that will directly affect the relationship between the player and their friend Emily. Emily is Away is a very poignant game that exemplifies just how we as a people, especially teenagers, have learned to communicate differently than the generations that came before us. It is also a story that cannot be told as a traditional text. It is the perfect game to teach students how even the simplest of visual cues can help strengthen the connection between the “reader” and the characters. 

Developed by Kyle Seeley

Available on  Windows, Mac OS X, Linux. Can be played for free on Steam, or it can be downloaded directly to your computer from here.

Rated: High School