This post contains spoilers for the second episode of "Random Acts of Flyness."
The August 10 episode of Terence Nance‘s irreverent late-night HBO show "Random Acts of Flyness" featured a game that depicts the racism and sexism that Black women survive daily. Now, viewers can play "Kekubian Assassin" in real life via a mobile game released shortly after the episode aired.
The game first appeared in the episode after Najja (Dominique Fishback, "The Deuce") evaded a persistent catcaller while walking to an arcade. Once there, she played a machine version of the first-person game, in which the player must dodge microaggressions while traversing a psychedelically colored street and bar. The challenges include overzealous White women ("Can you twerk?"), defensive White men ("It’s not about race!") street harassers ("You should smile more.") and misguided supporters ("Jesus is your therapy.").
Victorious players eventually reach a boss level where they must distinguish between facts ("Scientists have successfully genetically modified a tomato with fish DNA.") and hotep facts ("The abbreviation ‘B.C.’ doesn’t stand for ‘Before Christ,’ it’s ‘Before Caucasian.’").
Nelson Mandela Nance, one of the show’s writers and multiplatform producers, developed the "Kekubian Assassin" concept with the rest of the show’s entirely Black writers’ room (including older brother Terence).
"Sometimes, men feel that they want to be seen when they’re catcalling women," Nance tells Colorlines. "That dynamic turned into a segment on what it’s like to experience the day-to-day aggressions, or microaggressions, that can be very physically dangerous and even deadly [for Black women]. How can we bring awareness to that through an a virtualization? Subversively, we wanted people to think about their conduct."
Nance, who sometimes uses the moniker Norvis Junior, also composed the game’s score. He credits Naima Ramos-Chapman ("And Nothing Happened") and the show’s other female writers with offering context to the game from their own personal experiences.
As for turning this fictional (if all-too-real) game into a playable one, he says that the writers wanted to “implement some way for people to feel the concept in a multi-consciousness way."
Nance and company currently have no plans to take the game to other platforms, but he says they would like to "if somebody wants to pay us." For now, experience the madness by visiting KekubianAssassin.com on your mobile device.