Chinese Family Dinner Moment

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Number of Reviews: 4
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
An uncomfortable moment, April 20, 2024
by EJ

In Chinese Family Dinner Moment, the PC, a closeted AMAB trans person who has been away at college in the US, reunites with their Chinese Indonesian family for a Lunar New Year dinner. (Whether the character is a woman or nonbinary is not stated.) On one side is an auntie who wants to chatter inanely about family members the PC barely knows; on the other an uncle with unsavory intentions. The PC can't eat the food (they're a vegetarian), can't reveal too much about themself, can't stomach engaging with their family's conservative political opinions and general bigotry. In such a situation, what can you do? As anyone who's been through this kind of family dinner might guess, not much...

This is a very quick game, but it works perfectly at the length that it is, because it zooms in on this single moment and really makes the player feel the PC's acute discomfort and sense of being trapped, (Spoiler - click to show)as well as their self-disgust when they finally cave and starts parroting what their family wants to hear. Much of this is accomplished through the use of a strictly limited parser--a great illustration of how "interactivity" doesn't have to mean "making choices" or "solving puzzles." A static short story of a similar word count would not have nearly the impact that this has.

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