An online role playing game set in the world of Jane Austen’s novels scored Kickstarter funding on Monday. Ever, Jane offers Austen fans the opportunity to engage in their own virtual gossip wars to shame their enemies.
The title is a play on EverQuest, a fantasy massively multiplayer online role playing game, or MMORPG. Like other MMORPGs, Ever, Jane lets players freely interact as characters in a detailed fictional world—in this case, Regency England—complete with towns, carriage rides, stone cottages and fancy-dress dinners.
But unlike most MMORPGs, which are based on combat, Ever, Jane focuses on Austen’s feminine world of social climbing. Prefer emotionally crushing your enemies instead of just blowing them up? This game’s for you.
“It’s not about kill or be killed, but invite or be invited,” says the game’s website. “Gossip is our weapon of choice.”
Players create unique female or male avatars and are required to stay in character as denizens of an early 1800s Janeite world. The basic rules and manners will be familiar to anyone who has played in the virtual world of Second Life, where Ever, Jane creator Judy Tyrer previously worked as an engineer.
With more than $100,000 of Kickstarter funds in hand, Tyrer aims to release Ever, Jane in January 2016. A prototype of the game is already available for play and will remain live during the development period.
Paste was unable to join the Janeite fun in recent days, as the game apparently suffered computer server issues. But the game trailer shows players strolling in a village, flirting in a parlor, dancing at a grand ball and gossiping in the streets. Ever, Jane intends to draw Austen fans into the gaming culture and then treat them to the social-shaming version of Grand Theft Auto.