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If you happen to scroll through any social media app, there’s a high chance you might’ve come across an ad for a game called Episode. It’s basically like reading a story, but more dramatic and with visuals; almost like an updated Kindle, if you will. I first started playing this game about 2 years ago when I saw a few of my friends play it & just wanted to see what the hype was about, but now I think I spend at least 2-3 hours a week playing Episode.

Now, if you indeed have happened to see those ads online, you might think of Episode as a weird app with wannabe 18+ material. But once you start getting to know how to navigate the app better, trust me, it’s not as creepy as it comes across initially. In the game, you are given 4 passes every 3-4 hours & the opportunity to earn gems by reading Episode-sanctioned stories. Using those gems, you can unlock bonus scenes or related extra options in the stories. You can also write and upload your own stories! Apart from stories by Episode itself, you can also read ones written by other community authors which is where the actually great content lies.

man and woman on a bed fighting over a video game controller
Gustavo Fring via Pexels

The game starts off with having to read a couple of Episode-sanctioned stories at the beginning to earn gems, and after that, you can start reading community-written stories. I have to point out though, that Episode-sanctioned stories are never worth the read, they are almost always played just to earn gems. It’s a matter of finding a couple of authors whose writing style and genres you vibe with and discovering better stories along the way. 

While I’ve read some amazing stories which could genuinely be adapted as books and be wildly successful (feel free to reach out to me personally for suggestions!), there are some issues with the app that needs to be addressed. It must be kept in mind that when you’re reading a story, you’re completely in the world of the author and have to go with it even if you may not personally agree with the content. Having said that, the app comes with its own set of issues. It is possible to come across authors that sometimes are sexist to sell the story. For example, I’ve read quite a few stories in which the female main character is depicted as meek and unable to stand up for herself in order for the ‘hero’ to be her savior each time. A couple of years ago, that was one of the biggest selling factors of a book/movie, but today when people are more aware than ever, authors need to realize that marketability shouldn’t come at the cost of ethics.

Two women with a laptop
Photo by CreateHERStock from nappy

Content editing & ethical training should be mandated at all costs when spreading the word to other people is this easy these days. It should be taken into consideration that there maybe be impressionable readers out there and stories can be great with a strong female MC too! I would recommend this app, but it’s 100% necessary to spend a little bit of time understanding what kind of stories you’re into & what’s worth the read!

Vaidehi Bhatia

U Mass Amherst '23

Vaidehi is a writer for the University of Massachusetts Amherst chapter. She is a junior majoring in Data Science with minors in Business and Computer Science. Outside of Her Campus, Vaidehi is involved on campus in Delta Kappa Delta Sorority, Inc. & BUILD UMass, and is a dance and fashion enthusiast. Be on the lookout for lots of articles about fashion, styling, relatable college experiences & wellbeing!
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