Live Free Play Hard: A New Site For Girl Games That Are All About Cursing Your Enemies

By Porpentine on October 13th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

“a new site for Girl Games that are all about cursing your enemies and summoning beautiful goddesses”. Gentrification gun. Feminist body horror.

Goddess Maker 2013 ~For Dreamers Only~ by lilith

goetic girls is a new site for Girl Games that are all about cursing your enemies and summoning beautiful goddesses

Finally, a new site for girl games. After all this time just sitting around, waiting for a game for girls to come out, I finally have something to do instead of sit here like a plant brainlessly soaking up sunlight.

In Goddess Maker 2013 ~For Dreamers Only~, you have to build a goddess. Naturally you head on down to the junkyard. How will you design your perfect goddess?

Two endings.

 

Signal Mosaic by Morroque

Signal Mosaic is a structured way to write poetry, using a random and limited bank of letters. The creator describes it as an “algorthmic word-art generator” and a “lipogram writing assistant”.

Letters are crossed out as you type, descending the rows until you flip back to the top. That’s a lap. You get seven laps. As letters dwindle you’re forced to be more creative/incoherent.

To get high scores, milking each line is imperative. Score matters because there’s a leaderboard, and because you can compete against other poems, a truly brutal battle.

 

 

UN EP by Ian Snyder

Musical toys by Ian Snyder. The opening menu feels like part of the game itself, blobs of liquid that lead to audiovisual wonders.

A few favorites: Cycle captures your mousestroke and echoes it into radial geometric patterns tied to poignant piano keys. Felt (pictured above) reminds me of an aerial view of rivers and erosion. Veil is a Rorschach flower garden caught in a vortex.

They’re all great in their own way–evolving meditations of sonic delicacy.

An interview with the artist here: I wanted to engender the riskless feeling of “playing with” without the pressure of the more performative “playing.”

 

Desert Hike Ex by Twinbeard Studios

Oregon Trail Lite set against the backdrop of the Bay Area tech industry, Burning Man, and start-up culture. It helps to understand those things, but it isn’t required. As someone who lives in the Bay Area, I could try to explain:

The disdain towards these people is based on the tech industry’s influx of rich white men gentrifying cities and coming to areas with no knowledge of existing culture or desire to sustain that culture.

It makes fun of how start-up companies are all about amazing, innovative ideas…as long as they’re tailored to “all the problems of being twenty years old, with cash on hand”, in the words of George Packer.

Burning Man is their week-long desert party, a designated zone for a kind of apolitical enlightenment that requires no real self-examination or actual interaction with human beings outside your social caste, a kind of selfish purging ritual.

In Desert Hike Ex, you are a team of start-up dudes who get your car and your bitcoins stolen and you have to hike back to civilization. The game itself is a series of random CYOA questions in an Oregon trail wrapper. It’s pretty arbitrary, but I like answering CYOA questions.

 

It Dies In The Light by Christopher Wells

Made in puzzlescript, a simple language for making puzzle-style games recently released by increpare. Look at that code! One page! Sharing a window with the game itself!

You can type levels out like this!

##########
###G#G#G##
##P......#
#G.......#
##..C....#
#G.......#
##..C....#
#G.......#
##......S#
##########

Puzzlescript satisfies one of the conditions that I feel is important for accessible tools: a quick way to see the effect your work has on the actual game. And as with any simple robust game making tool, I’m sure we’ll see far more than puzzles.

So, you have to destroy all the purple-black stuff. But be careful, because if it isn’t corralled by light or solid matter it will spread, instantly killing you.

Pushing back the death-creep feels good because of the way you have to cautiously negotiate for more space, watching for deadly leaks as you burn the mess up with purifying light.

If you’re into block-pushing puzzles or Sokoban, there’s a bunch more posted on the site, all done in Puzzlescript.

 

gooDDoog by Eric Colossal and kcgreen

A collaboration between webcomic artists Eric Colossal and kcgreen, gooDDoog is the story of a cute doog who meets a sad moon. The moon is crying because all the moon’s stars are missing.

Venture to several lands to get back the stars. Each has a unique gameplay mechanic.

I like the bark button, it really got me in the doog mindset. I’m now extremely CUTE and HELPFUL.

 

Stop Me If You Heard This One Before by Kaitlin Tremblay

(TW: Body horror.)

A woman, Elizabeth. She works at an art gallery. The focus is on her body.

The writing is intense and rich and physical. Simple movements are over-described. The makeup ritual is depicted with uncomfortably clinical detail. Putting on our face. Where does a woman’s face live? Is it in her purse? In her bathroom cabinet?

The difference between a story where someone writes “He smiled.” vs. a story where someone writes “Harry’s lips part and he smiles widely, revealing rows of white teeth…”

Magician’s tricks, their effortless manipulation of the female body as a metaphor for how our culture divides women’s bodies into zones and forces them to defy reality–a virginal slut, professional yet feminine, nurturing yet weak. Sawed in half. Drowning.

And when it asks me to stop if I’ve heard this one before, and I click yes, and it says “The next morning, she wakes up in her own bed.”, this serves as a device to say, things are not so simple. The true end will definitely not involve her waking up in her own bed–not with a full stop at the end of the sentence, anyways. And I go back and continue the story.

Kaitlin invokes so many powerful metaphors (there are enough ideas here for a dozen excellent stories), and wires them with such tension. What else but the anatomical reconfigurations of stage tricks, Russian dolls, puppetry, and body horror to evoke the grotesque contradictions women are forced to embody?

 

 

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20 Comments »

  1. GameCat says:

    I have no Sunday Papers and I must read, dammit!

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      bills6693 says:

      Just what I was thinking. Now quarter past 4 and still no papers :’( have I missed something saying there will not be any today? That would be tragic.

  2. stoner says:

    Well, I for one, am glad there is a girl game site. As a 61 year-old guy, perhaps now I can finally get a clue concerning “What Do Women Want”

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      blind_boy_grunt says:

      well, after reading “Stop Me If You Heard This One Before” maybe you’re better off not knowing.
      ps: that sentence “what women want” makes me think of a secret committee where it gets decided what women like and don’t like. And if only you could get a transcript of that meeting, you would have all the answers/power.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Mel Gibson has the answers. That’s why the Cabal decided to have him neutralised.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Is that like the cabal which determines what PC gamers need?

        • The Random One says:

          All the cabals are one. The Shadowy Compound doesn’t allow rental contracts lasting less than a month and by Jove they’re going to make use of it.

    • Trif says:

      As it turns out, the answer was “video games” all along.

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      cpt_freakout says:

      As a dabbler in the most arcane of hard arts and soft sciences, I have come to the conclusion that the answer is extremely complex, but which can be reduced to the non-Euclidean mathematics of… get ready for it… really ready… a comfy sofa .

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      MajorManiac says:

      The Wife of Bath’s Tale from Canterbury Tales has a pretty good answer to the question of “What women want?”.

      A knight says to a Queen in a plea to have his life spared –
      “My liege lady, generally,” said he,
      “Women desire to have the sovereignty
      As well upon their husband as their love,
      And to have mastery their man above;
      This thing you most desire, though me you kill
      Do as you please, I am here at your will.”

  3. Premium User Badge

    DrScuttles says:

    After having made a brand new Goddess, I was curious to see what else was on that site. Now my brains feel like mashed potato and I’m all confused and can’t cope with this.

  4. kwyjibo says:

    Desert Hike Ex goes on for a bit too long, but I’ve not seen any other indie game mention Jaiku, so there’s a plus.

    Terry Cavanagh put out a tiny platform game called Collapse a few days ago. It’s a little gem.

    http://www.puzzlescript.net/play.html?p=6877455

  5. MrEvilGuy says:

    “Burning Man is their week-long desert party, a designated zone for a kind of apolitical enlightenment that requires no real self-examination or actual interaction with human beings outside your social caste, a kind of selfish purging ritual.”

    Hahahaha sounds about right. As a Canadian born in Winnipeg, living in Vancouver, and only hanging out with people from the Bay Area while at Burning Man, I absolutely loved Desert Hike EX!!! Very realistic. I beat the game with 1 guy left.

  6. Yglorba says:

    The gentrification gun really should have been in Saint’s Row IV. It would have been easy to add, too — a gun that changes people’s headwear to top hats and monocles.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      More accurately it would turn people into punk rockers/indie kids/hipsters/artists/neckbeards and then have them further transform into yuppies.

  7. bit_crusherrr says:

    “TW: Body horror”

    Total War: Body Horror? What?

    • Yglorba says:

      Trigger Warning: Body horror. Warning people that it might contain things that could be triggering (evoking a really, really unpleasant reaction) in people who are susceptible to that (possibly because of previous experiences, possibly just because it’s the way they’re wired.)

      Assuming you’re asking seriously and not just making a joke!

      • Amun says:

        I think the idea of warning people that you’re about to talk about something that they would prefer not to read is great and all, but why would one warn about something as vague as “body horror”?

        And also, why do we not include such warnings before every article on a game featuring the horrors of war? Surely that is more common than whatever “body horror” is supposed to be.

        Ah whatever.