2 players, over chat. Alex and Robin. You met through friends. Characters: age (20-30), look, what you do/like, how the character is different from you (player). Say what about the other struck you. Choose secretly: You feel - insecure, unlikeable, fake, vulnerable, dependent, lonely, confused, trapped Your facade - irony, cynicism, aloofness, contrariness, independence, disaffection. Now: You want to know them, you want them to like you. Use texts/chat, 1 brief exchange per day - keep it casual, discuss movies, books, politics, yourselves. Ask questions. Maybe flirt. The Question: find out what you feel/want. Is it a crush? Friendship? Love? The Code: never speak about your feelings/desires/vulnerabilities. If you're asked or would like to, keep up your facade. Be flippant, aloof, or "fun". Copy that message in a document, write your true answer beside it. Don't share that. OPTIONAL: At any point, one may write "so, last night...": you kissed/hooked up at a party. Imply what happened (there was full, informed consent), never tell in full. When you have an answer to the question, or when you break the code, or when it peters out, stop playing. Talk it over, share the secret documents, explain yourselves.
Inspired by Skim, by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, and Conversations With Friends, by Sally Rooney.
Thanks to Michael Duxbury, Stephen Morffew, Mel Trender, Hamish Ridley-Steele, Daniele Di Rubbo, Talisa Tavella, Alexandra Zanasi and Flavio Mortarino for comments and feedback.