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Keep Liking What I Don't Like: Art, Kitsch, and Video Games

A comic in which one person is watching sports, a second starts mocking this, and the first covers the second's mouth and says, 'Let people enjoy things.'

https://www.instagram.com/p/BQJRw2ygflf/

Oh no! You just found out that somebody likes a thing you don’t like. What do you do?

If your answer is “keep my mouth shut so they can keep enjoying the thing even though I know it’s trash,” then I congratulate you for at least mastering the first step of basic civility. But there’s another step beyond that one: open-mindedness. It’s recognizing that you almost certainly don’t know that the thing is trash. It’s genuinely seeking to understand what it is that people enjoy about the thing. And if you master this step too, your life can be much richer.

I’m going to explain why this is the case, but first I need to talk about kitsch for a minute - after all, “kitsch” is practically shorthand for “art only liked by people with worse taste than me.“

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January's Game: Detectivania

SPOILER WARNING

This post contains structural and mechanical spoilers for Detectivania. The game is about half an hour long and you can play it right in your browser.

Project Goals

  1. Learn Twine. I ended up using Twine 2.2.1 and Harlowe 2.1.0.
  2. Publish on Itch.io. I set up a profile and published Detectivania there as well as here.

Game Concept

Since this is my first game, I chose an idea that seemed relatively simple - what I termed the “conversational Metroidvania.“

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