This presentation approaches the ideas of interactivity and game narrative through the lens of a participatory culture (Jenkins, 2006). It focuses on how players engage with the narrative of love, by using It Takes Two, a popular creative co-op game, as a case study. In 2021, arriving one year after social distancing protocols were introduced, a creative co-op video game, It Takes Two, created by Swedish developer Hazelight Studios and published by American gaming giant Electronic Arts, gained huge popularity on a global scale, including unexpected success in the Chinese market. The game is based on a divorce-themed story but by integrating cooperative gameplay mechanism, it enabled players to engage in constructing a narrative of “love”. Although game narratives are argued to impose restraints on how the player can interact with the virtual world, as they are not given the agency to change the game’s structure and design. Still for this game, it attempts to establish a narrative of how couples drift apart and the powers that can hold people together, and arriving after a year of pandemic social distancing, at this challenging time, It Takes Two raises awareness and questions on how games can connect us emotionally in real life rather than how we fall apart in a relationship.
Xin Yao, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, China
About the Presenter(s)
Xin Yao is a lecturer at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, China. Dr. Yao explored online participatory culture in non-western contexts. She employs mixed-methods to examine a broad range of topics about new media and digital culture.
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule