In the game you play as history students that have been assigned a research on social dynamics of the 21st century, a particularly foggy focus especially in the perfect world of 6061 where concept like gender and inequality doesn’t exist anymore.
The only available resource for your research are clip from a 2016 soap opera called Love, Lust and lack of Trust.
The game plays between alternating scenes of you performing as students discussing the homework and the insight, and soap opera scenes, in which two players usually perform a scene with tropes.
The gameplay style is suggested to be realistic in the students scene, and over the top/surreal/biased when performing the Soap Opera scenes.
We started a little late but we were able to play for half an hour between setup and three soap opera scenes, with a final scene of us (students) reporting to the class our discoveries.
The game fell short on giving us a goal, an objective, it felt like an exercise, a little didactic. There was no “skin in the game” to quote one of the feedback of the session, nothing really risky for us as players, compared to Fiasco we felt a lack of conflict.
We played only three scenes which could be a reason for that, (maybe the more you play the more the students get heated in their discussion?). I saw an evolution between the first and the last scene at least in our ability to pinpoint themes about gender inequality, communication, oppressive systems. Probably, but this is a hypothesis, the more you play, the more you discover.
To play the soap opera scenes was good but also problematic, at least for me there were moments were I was uncomfortable (I had to play a rich woman talking shit about her husband…) which, again, maybe is one of the goal of the game. Moving between the two gameplay style, surreal/goofy vs serious, was really hard.
One thing that we liked was the fictional way in which we were entering the soap opera scene, the person that was not performing was responsible of pushing “play” in the VHS reader and organically everyone of us made up a Soap Opera tune to give the others a clue for starting performing and there were good laugh when watching others play the soap opera.
Nadia pointed out that this could be a good introductory game, to warm up your improv and rople-play skills but there is a need for a change, a shift, in order to really engage participants.
Also one final note, the game is designed to be played in a room, not in an online call.
Nadia, Ivan, please feel free to add something if I forgot something!
I think it was a play session that helped us understand better what it is that we like and what we don’t
Next week we will not play any games, but the week after Wednesday February 16th at 6pm CET, we will play a online version of Once Upon a Time a fantasy storytelling card game (that gets goofy pretty fast).
If you want to participate please leave your email here also for future sessions.