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Friday, February 13 • 12:30pm - 1:00pm
STAYING IN TUNE: The Importance of Creating a Dialogue About Consent

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Tweed Couch Games/In Tune

Our talk will begin by discussing the context in which our game, In Tune, was made. This will be followed by a description of what the game hopes to achieve and how, including the challenges of its creation, and then broaden back out into a discussion of the representation of consent in games and popular culture. It will answer one major question from a multitude of perspectives: Why make a game about consent?

We will deal with a deceptively simple question that we get asked over and over when we present our game: “Why make a game about consent?” When people ask this, they are actually asking a handful of things.

They are asking why make a game about <b>consent</b>. Why is the topic of consent one that we need to deal with? The narrative that media has constructed surrounding consent is problematic in many ways and our goal was to create something that made players and audience contemplate their daily navigation of consent. Our society is built around the “soft” no – often avoiding the word no entirely in favour of polite excuses and roundabout denials.

They are asking why make a <b>game</b> about consent. Why use this medium to deal with what is often seen as a very serious and difficult to approach topic? We wanted to give players a chance to practice consent. Often when we go to workshops to learn about consent we discuss what consent should look like, or how we should practice consent. It is rare that participants in such workshops are given the space to actually practice consent skills. This is especially true for the types of consent that may fall outside the sexual intimacy such workshops often focus on. Games are the perfect medium for this practice.

They are asking why make a game about consent. What was our goal when making such a game?
Such a game can reach a broader audience than traditional dialogues and workshops. People who play games may not normally be exposed to information about consent. Additionally, the game format makes the information accessible to new audiences who may not even be thought of in the narrative around consent, such as elementary or high-school age children, University students, and even or especially as a game played between friends and acquaintances.

In Tune is a game about navigating consent – both physical or otherwise – in a culture where people are constantly navigating consent and its boundaries whether they are aware of it or not.

Consent itself is often dealt with implicitly and without negotiation. Why should this be the case, and how can we open a dialogue?

avatar for Allison Cole

Allison Cole

Allison Cole has recently given up on her dream of becoming champion of the Montreal Pokémon league to move to New York and make games at the NYU Game Center, where she continues to make games about the issues she holds most dear.
avatar for Jess Rowan Marcotte

Jess Rowan Marcotte

Interaction and Narrative Designer, Writer, JEKA GAMES
avatar for Zachary Miller

Zachary Miller

Zachary Miller is a budding game designer and hacker-minded individual from Regina, Saskatchewan (a flat, cold place in the centre his his observed universe), where he helped create the Winnitron SK, a communal indie arcade cabinet. Now based in Montreal, he’s gained friends and... Read More →

Friday February 13, 2015 12:30pm - 1:00pm EST
Redstone Theater First Floor

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