But [Naomi] Clark wondered if the subject matter could be handled differently. Why did people with tentacles or alternative genitals have to be consigned to the role of nonconsensual monsters? “What if we had to rediscover practices of consent in the context of sex with radically different beings?” Clark poses. “We can talk about consent techniques via language, but I want something harder — can you consent without words, through a system?”
What if alien encounters reconfigured bodies and desires? When No Quarter commissioned Clark to do a game, she decided to explore this idea, researching non-trivial collaboration in card games, and talking to artists who might want to draw cute but horrifying tentacle friends. She wants to explore inherited desires, body parts and communication without words, through a game that is about consent and collaboration.”
Leigh Alexander has a lengthy piece profiling the participants of the Sex in Games panel at Different games last week. You can also watch the panel here if you like, starting around 14:00.
The limits of verbal consent and the dangers of privileging verbal consent over nonverbal cues is the primary focal point of my thought regarding consent. I’m really interested in exploring nonverbal consent through games, particularly text based games. By rendering these often overlooked aspects of interpersonal interaction in text, we can draw attention to them and hopefully cause them to register in people in their real lives as well.
Also, she talks about Merritt Kopas’ game positive space, which I’ve linked to before and which was unbelievably cathartic and made me bawl. (Y’all may notice that “it made me cry” is my version of a thumbs up.)