How a video game uses magical realism to reframe the way Americans think about debt and homelessness

'Kentucky Route Zero' starts at this Equus Oils gas station, where Conway looks for directions to 5 Dogwood Drive. — Annapurna Interactive/TNS

When the nearly decade-long journey of Kentucky Route Zero began with a crowdfunding campaign in 2011, it was pitched as a surrealist road adventure with a retro look and a folksy tone, the sort of point-and-click-styled game that went out of favor in the early 1990s but was finding new life as a niche independent product.

There was no way of knowing it was to become one of the most thoughtful, heartbreaking and yet fantastical looks at modern life in America.

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homelessness , debt


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