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Your nervous system can’t tell the difference between anxiety caused by the repeated failure to solve a puzzle and the pressure to virtually get married. One of the hosts, Sean Bouchard, expresses an ongoing interest in narrative game design, and romance-themed games seem to cater more towards that touchstone of coherence than games that require less emotional attachment.He introduced GNS theory in Episode 6, and romance-based games (at least the ones they played) seemed to rely by default on narrative largely to the exclusion of game and simulation.According the the guys, romance is thematically “dangerous territory” in games, which I originally took to understand as a financial risk in that it’s not a theme that typically interests gamers.But based on the games themselves, it seems really difficult technically to create an experience of love and romance that feels “real”, or at least realistic.The only really popular game the guys played was “Catherine”, which is distinctly split between plot and a big puzzle game.And “Catherine” deals specifically with one part of romantic relationships (anxiety over commitment) that’s easier to replicate mechanically than, say, falling in love.But in the event that March’s cast ends up being the last of this talented triumvirate, I’ve started drawing up some thoughts about the premise of their series: “How do video games depict romance? The last video game I played was a retro-fitted version of “Dr.Mario” designed to burn off college stress and I’ve studiously avoided MMOs like “World of War Craft” because I KNOW it would become a huge time suck that I would be helpless to curb.





But during the series, the hosts played two Japanese dating simulations or visual novels* (Hatoful Boyfriend, Katawa Shoujo) and one North American corollary (Judith), one AI-driven story system (Facade), one “triple A” action game (Catherine), two indie art explorations (Passage, Loved), and the sui generis “The Sims 3: Late Night”, and expressed throughout the series the idea that they’d run out of game types in which romance is the central theme fairly fast.The visual novel “Katawa Shoujo” was widely perceived by hosts and viewers to be the most compelling emotional expression of love, but it was also the most restrictive in terms of player agency, and the least gamic. *They used the two terms interchangeably, although I’m told there’s a difference in emphasis between the two. The logic was faulty: ‘In order to truly love my husband, I need to know about every single person he’s murdered”? In “Bluebeard”, there’s no slow reveal of increasingly graphic atrocities because that doesn’t work when you identify with Bluebeard’s wife.So I watch the Geek and Sundry channel on You Tube and have gotten really interested in “Metadating”, the show in which three video game designers play through and analyze video games on romance. You find a hidden room in your husband’s castle filled with “bloody hay”, you run, end of story.I know for sure I told quite a few people about this flaw but can't quite remember exactly who.Honestly the problem seems to be when your already logged in accessing someone elses account other than your own.

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