What Can Card Games Teach us About Consent?
This Week on the Queers at the End of the World Podcast
Queers at the End of the World is a thoughtful, nerdy, and very queer conversation on the apocalypse. On the podcast, we discuss classic and contemporary novels, poetry, comics, games, tv-shows, and films that help us understand our dystopian moment—and imagine what could come next.
Game designer Naomi Clark joins us to talk about Consentacle, her two player card game about consent and pleasure across very different bodies. Naomi joins us to talk about making games in a pandemic, desire in dystopia, two-player dynamics, and the joys of flirting over your hand.
From the episode:
Naomi Clark: I think that exploring the effective and interpersonal space that’s created when people sit down to play a game is really good at … exploring one moment in time, looking at all the kind of dynamics and the things that are going on in that moment or a situation is the word I often use in part because I see my design practice creating that situation where you’re like, okay, this is just two people and a bunch of things happen and it’s actually very, very complex. So you can kind of explore the possibilities of space. So it’s less about trying to tell a whole story with a narrative arc, which of course a lot of games do that, and games that are trying to be like a big epic are really popular and they get a lot of attention. But I think that there are particular things that games can do that are about exploring those moments that don’t really get addressed in those gigantic, huge, and epic arcs, which at the larger scale of looking at the experience, they do share a lot in common with epic stories and in movies or novels or trilogies of novels like Octavia Butler. But with the games, you get those epic stories studded with all of these interesting little moments, whether they are a boss fight or a particular crucial set of decisions that have to be made. So getting that nuance and the feel of those moments right, I think is what I love to focus on as a game designer.