External Links

Play on itch.io
Play this game in your Web browser.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page


by sweetfish profile

Slice of life

Web Site

(based on 11 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story


Conversations about being online, in 495 words.

Written in an hour for Neo-Twiny Jam and coded in Twine for a lot longer.

Warning for very brief sexual language. Click, tap, or press space/return to advance text.

Game Details


Entrant - Neo-Twiny Jam

2nd Place (tie), Best Use of Short Form; 8th Place, Best in Show - The IF Short Games Showcase 2023


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
Write a review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Of the bad old days, and bad current days, of social media, August 28, 2023
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)
Related reviews: Neo Twiny Jam

For me if something is going to be linear and use effects, it either needs a buildup or payoff. And in vanitas it has both.

You can see where it's going pretty quickly. Two friends more or less stay in touch as the dominant social platform changes. They discuss how nice things were, well sort of, while also realizing how bad it was. (False nostalgia is touched on quickly and effectively.) You may or may not recognize each individual site as you hit space and go through various conversations.

The ending, which is very much worth it, seems meant to be open for interpretation. It's creative and lampshaded a bit. It certainly made me think of how exciting it must have been for my parents or grandparents to be using the telephone more regularly, maybe complaining about how people can listen in, or how the phone monopolies are ruining everything. It reminded me of a whole bunch of nuisances, such as busy signals with no answering machines available. And that is the unemotional side.

vanitas is not a very tangly game. You can just hit space a bunch, then tab your way to open the next social media site. But it's effectively done, and the aesthetics are not there to show off, and the final two scenes are definitely worth your time. I recommend just poking around to bulldoze through rather than noting this spoiler, but since we only have so much time, (Spoiler - click to show)the final two scenes look into communication into the past and are deliberately obscure, as people's complaints about Zuckerberg or Musk may seem 100 years from now.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A cute story about different social media, August 5, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This game was written for the Neo Twiny Jam in 500 words or less.

It is as far as I can see completely linear, but uses interactivity as you can click to make each line appear.

The gimmick here is that it's a single story but changes every few lines into the format of a different social media site like Twitter or Reddit, showing how some things stay the same the more they change.

Pretty neat. One crude joke that doesn't add much to the story, but overall some tight writing.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
The Enshittification of social media, visualised., August 21, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: neotwinyjam

A conversation between two users start, as they meet once again after one of them left the social platform they connected. Thought this reconnection they discuss their experience of said platform and how changes have not gone over well, as well as the concept of anonymity through the ages.
The entry takes on multiple UIs through this conversation of different social media platforms, from the Tumblr DMs, Cohost posts, Twitter, Discord, Reddit, Youtube, and old Forum formats. It gives for a strange retrospective in parallel with the conversation, reminding us of what once was, and how those platforms (may) have changed over the years… often for the worst as they stop putting users first.
It is quite the relevant piece considering what has happened over the past years with Twitter, the past months with Reddit, or even more quietly with Tumblr…
Though, while our place on the internet may be temporary, the entry does give some hope that users who click will find each other elsewhere…

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

vanitas on IFDB

Recommended Lists

vanitas appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Extremely Online Games by autumnc
Games about being Extremely Online. Games that take place mostly on a simulated internet UI of some sort, games about online culture and relationships.

Favourite games published in 2023 by manonamora
Like the title indicates, below are games published in 2023 which I really enjoyed playing. There is no real order in this list. And I probably forgot some knowing me... (will update this at some point because I missed some big titles)


The following polls include votes for vanitas:

Games which take place in chat messenger systems or on a digital interface by grimperfect
Specifically, works where the main mechanic is either exploring a in-game digital interface(ala Secret Little Haven) or communicating using a type of chat/text messenger system(think Emily is Away).

Outstanding Short Game of 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best short game of 2023, where the definition of 'short' is left up to the...

This is version 6 of this page, edited by sweetfish on 1 February 2024 at 9:23pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page