Absolutely relatable. I often feel like texting is some kind of puzzles too.
Texting With Friends
Content warning: this game contains language of relationship abuse in one section, intended to show examples of such language.
This is a day of texting in the life of an everyday person. It might be someone you barely know, it might be your friend, or it could be you.
They struggle with communication, especially with texting. It often feels like they have to remember everything they wanted to say, but often the timer next to the read receipt makes them anxious. What's more, the texts just keep coming. The incoming texts sometimes jog their memory, revealing what is on the other side of the cards, but too many can also be overwhelming.
Can you help them collect their thoughts and make sure they reply back?
How to play:
1. Click to select a person to text
2. Click memory cards to make matches with words on them. Cards can be dragged around and organized if needed.
3. Continue until all memory cards are cleared and the message is sent!
4. Text them all!
This pitch was nominated as a finalist for the Jennifer Ann's Group game design challenge to create games to further their goal of stopping teen domestic violence.
This is a short game to show, briefly, the effects of gaslighting on one's ability to remember. The texts that come through are those that real people have received from partners of varying kinds. At the time of this writing, most communication is digital, and so too the gaslighting is no longer in person but over the phone and digital. And while many of them can be called gaslighting messages, I have chosen to not call out gaslighting by name in this game. Instead I show its specific effect: the interference in memory production. While harsh in texting the boyfriend, I also wanted to offer a contrasting picture of memory production in healthier relationships. So the friend and therapist provide that juxtaposition, and most importantly, speaking with the therapist opens up the opportunity to "heartbreak" that is to send a simple, and powerful message of setting boundaries with the people who hurt us.
In playing this game, I hope that players get to safely expose themselves to the kinds of language that they might experience from people who gaslight and from their supportive friends. From that experience, I wish for the constructed sentences in the game to help provide players with the language they need to protect themselves from those that would hurt them.