What is The Widow's Boutique?
View from Ekebergåsen. Artist: C. A. Lorentzen. Owner: Nasjonalmuseet
The Widow’s Boutique is a Visual Novel that addresses issues related to women, clothing and capitalism in Christiania in the 1820s. It is a declaration of love for history and fashion.
Although the game is set in the 1820s, the themes are just as relevant today – women in business still face prejudice and obstacles,
clothes are still sewn by people under poor working conditions, and from textiles produced in unsustainable ways.
We are historians, game developers and illustrators passionate about exploring how history can be conveyed and told in new ways. During the development of The Widow’s Boutique, we collaborated with museums and researchers with particular expertise related to Norway and the world in the early 1800s.
To create an authentic experience, we have decided to keep the setting quite close to reality.
We have included contemporary newspaper entries, temperature readings, moon phases, real world locations and historical persons.
Together the details form a historically accurate backdrop, which lets you explore Oslo in the 1820s.
It was necessary to make some simplifications in order for the plot and game to function effectively. The clearest example is that we combined all the functions related to the police, investigations etc. within the customs officers.
In the game, you therefore visit the customs officers if you find a fake banknote or discover other illegal activities, when in reality you would have gone to the police.
Tidvis is a company that explores and develops new ways of disseminating research to make it available to the public, with a special emphasis on history. We believe history is important, because it gives us the means to understand the present and what we can expect of the future.
Our goal is to utilize both well known and new tools and technologies. Examples are databases, games, 3D models, augmented and virtual reality, animations, interactive sensory experiences and good, flexible designs on all used platforms.
With our sophisticated solutions we attempt to have as broad of a reach as possible. This way we hope to make experiencing the past more accessible to the general public, which again will enable us all to better reflect on the present and the future.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the 1820s, Rådhusgata 7 housed both the town hall, police station and prison. In the large hall on the second floor in the east wing, both court proceedings and concerts were held, and from 1822 Christiania Savings Bank was also open there on Saturday afternoons. Today, we at Tidvis, amongst others, have our offices here.
Meet the team
Special thanks to
Unn Elise Refsnes
Torgrim Mellum Stene
Siv Gøril Brandtzæg
Ola Johnsgaard Moen
Linn Christine Agersborg
Temperature readings are gathered from Geir Hestmark og Øyvind Nordli: «Jens Esmark’s Christiania (Oslo) meteorological observations 1816–1838: the first long-term continuous temperature record from the Norwegian capital homogenized and analysed», Clim. Past, 12, 2087–2106, 2016.