Stolen Kisses: Demonstrative Critical Gameplay

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Games: Aesthetics and Criticism

Presentation Title:

  • Stolen Kisses: Demonstrative Critical Gameplay

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Abstract:

  • Abstract
    Stolen Kisses is a game designed to offer alternative to the dominant strategies and mechanics of affection games on mobile devices. After several content analysis of games that require players to flirt, hug, kiss or make love to meet their goal it is apparent that many such games offered until 2016 are heteronormative and non-diverse. The Stolen Kisses game is designed to offer an example of alternative affection play.

    Introduction
    Stolen Kisses is a game designed to offer alternative to the dominant strategies and mechanics of affection games on mobile devices. After several content analysis of games that require players to flirt, hug, kiss or make love to meet their goal it is apparent that many such games offered until 2016 are heteronormative and non-diverse. The Stolen Kisses game is designed to offer an example of alternative affection play.
    Affection games are games in which players flirt, hug, kiss or make love to meet their goals. An estimated 500 such digital games are known to exist at the writing of this document. These games are a sharp departure from dating simulations, in that affection games are not about social modeling or navigating social dynamics to foster relationships. Instead, affection games are solely about the act of affection. In short, where a dating simulation might involve game verbs like talk, buy, or play, affection game verbs are simply repeated actions in flirting, hugging, kissing or making love. Such games are typically short experiences, most commonly attributed to casual play on both the web and mobile device.

    After analyzing the universe of affection games it’s notable how relatively restricted affection games are for a fantasy genre. The environments in which affection games occur tend to be mundane places (e.g. bust stops, bridges, schools, malls). This is presumably to support the fantasy of the everyday and the game environment. Players, for example, can place themselves in the role of a kissing character in a familiar environment or easily imagine their romantic interests as a character in the game. Likewise the vast majority of these games depict heterosexual affection between two, and only two, characters of the same race or creature type. Affection games rarely depict people of color, even when they are sold and produced in markets where people of color are the majority population.

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