To accompany our Games issue, we asked game-creator and interviewee Porpentine if she would make something for us. She did. We are proud to present Parasite for your gaming pleasure. Below, you will find the trailer, and a description of Parasite in Porpentine's own words.
Parasite is about what it means to let someone else into your dreams.
Its a folded-up short story, poem fighting back, game made out of words. You play by clicking on words.
Parasite relates to another game I made. Maybe it’s a critique or a response. Maybe it’s the same world. But that doesn’t matter.
I’m realizing how many of my games focus on tight interactions, not spatial branching. I’m interested more in the curves of a sentence than the layout of corridors, or modulating an emotional landscape, not racing towards the next grand, simulated vista. I get stuck on feelings, on the grain irritating my eye. I can’t clean my eyes out.
I’m interested in making games as someone who didn’t go to college, is not only trans but non-conforming trans, is extremely poor, is suspicious and inhumanoid.
I’m interested in mystical experiences and what it means to be mystical and feel strange. Some of the times I’ve felt most alive is when people would call me crazy or spastic or anxious or hysterical. I want to own those feelings. Richard Hofmeier called howling dogs “holy dread” and that’s one of the best descriptions I ever got.
I can explain myself this way, when my mouth is gone. Build machines to talk for me.
Like I said in the interview: “I don’t have time to explain to 1000 people about why I deserve to live and why being trans is beautiful, but I can make 1 game about it that 1000 people play.”
What does it mean to make games when we’re unhealthy? When we’re under threat of violence? When we’re hungry? When we have no money?
A lot of my games have this bleed like, stop hurting me. Even my happy games are like, my humanity will burn you away.
Radical acts of joy to combat terror. I know what gets the pain out of my body, and I know the watered-down, insubstantial medicines people tell me I should settle for instead.
Games are seen as so debased, so limited in subject matter, that sometimes I feel like the very act of making an alternative game is insurgent--hey, you got Audre Lorde in your McDonalds. I feel like some people only play games, live in that bubble, and these radical subjects get inserted into their media drip, interrupting the anesthetic flow. I’m thinking of being young and trans and what kind of game can get them thinking about the most important decision in their life vs the games that tell us to go back to sleep.
I’m not interested in games by game designers. I’m interested in games by humans who take their own shit and make it into a game.
Maybe you could make your own game.