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Venus Meets Venus

by kaleidofish profile


(based on 21 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Two women meet in a bar. This is not a love story.

(Mature content warning.)

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: fbvvkywbvcovbinl


Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 2014 XYZZY Awards

13th Place - 20th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2014)

Editorial Reviews

Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
Venus Meets Venus is a largely linear Twine story about a romantic and sexual relationship (though it is very clear on not being a love story). I read it through to the end.
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These Heterogenous Tasks
‘This is not a love story,’ begins Venus Meets Venus (kaleidofish), continuing this year’s trend of Twine games that start out by unconvincingly defining themselves. I will grant, I suppose, that ‘love story’ might be taken by some people as something more specific than ‘a story centrally involving love’ (I’m obviously committed to similar positions re: ‘interactive fiction’), but I still can’t help reading this as a rhetorical denial.
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The XYZZY Awards
Xyzzymposium 2014: Gabriel Murray on Best Story
Venus Meets Venus is written in second-person present tense, like many games, though it asserts itself to be “a chronicle of all your past fuck-ups.” For the most part, it sticks to conventional spelling and grammar, though sometimes it drops to lowercase to denote drunkenness or emotional desperation. The tense choice is interesting, given this: presumably the story is a pained play-by-play of the narrator’s relationship with Macy, her romantic interest, told in present tense because she experiences her mistakes over and over again in present tense. If you keep this in mind while you read, the experience is even more painful, because what’s going to happen is prefigured. Inhabiting the mind of a person who’s beating themselves up over past mistakes over and over in lifelike detail is very different from inhabiting the mind of a person who’s living their mistakes in the present. The effect is compelling from the get-go.
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Renga in Blue
I find dividing interactive fiction into “choice-based” and “parser-based” a little troublesome, in part because there are other options for an interface (like Ice-Bound or 18 Cadence) but also because point and click games can reflect different gameplay styles: the inventory-and-puzzles of The Contortionist inhabit a different universe than the strategy choices of Begscape. Half-Life 2 and Portal are considered to be in entirely different genres even if they are both first person using the same engine.
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Anya Johanna DeNiro
Building the Player-Character: A Case Study through 4 Interactive Fiction Games
And, right, much of the choice in Venus Meets Venus is taken away from the player. Which makes sense because of her ambivalence towards commitment. What makes this so bracing is that the courtship between a cis woman and a trans woman, with its back and forth — the coupling and later uncoupling — doesn’t have a clear throughline about what Lynn wants. Lynn wants to get on the rollercoaster. She doesn’t like choosing, and we are signaled right from the beginning that this is going to go badly. The linearity of the story, then, is largely a match with Lynn’s own psyche.
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Some Strange Circus
Circus Reviews - Venus Meets Venus
Venus Meets Venus follows a disillusioned college girl named Lynn who struggles through studies and sleeps around at the local bar. One night, she meets a girl named Macy and finds herself oddly drawn to her. Her attraction doesn't go away when Macy reveals that she's transgender, but it does complicate things, as this is a culture with which Lynn has no experience. That plus alcoholism plus standard relationship issues breeds a whole bunch of problems for the new couple. And, after all, the game warns you that this isn't a love story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
"told in present tense as if you have some semblance of choice", September 30, 2020
by autumnc
Related reviews: favs

Venus Meets Venus is a linear hypertext story, as is described in the opening passages (see title of review). One of the links in each passage always advances the story, while the other links function as asides or footnotes. It is a story of a relationship between two women, Lynn (the narrator) and Macy, and their struggles through sexuality and politics. Both of them are normal, flawed people (Lynn much more flawed, seemingly). The writing is excellent throughout. The language can be overwrought sometimes, but there are so many memorable lines. While there are no "branches" in the narrative, it feels much more interactive than it actually is. Links function as pacing and a way to explore Lynn's thought processes. She is someone who feels as if she lives on autopilot, and always picks the worst choice at any moment.

This was one of the first twine things I had ever played, and it was one of the reasons I became interested in interactive narrative in the first place. It was really influential for me.

Personal notes: (Spoiler - click to show)I played this game during a time when I was starting to come to the realization that I was trans and queer or something like that. It was one of the first stories I read that featured a literal non-metaphorical trans woman as a main character, and treated her as someone who was basically a normal person, and was someone who could be desirable. For better or for worse I saw bits of myself in both of the main characters. I'm not sure the story would have resonated with me as much if I hadn't been able to personally identify with the experiences described.

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The following polls include votes for Venus Meets Venus:

Romance Games by Molly
In honor of Valentine's Day, I'm looking for games that deal with romance and relationships.

PC's personality integrated with the story by JasonMel
I would like to be able to recommend to someone many examples of interactive fiction in which the player character is far from a cipher or an everyman or everywoman, but is instead a character with a definite personality within a game...

For Your Consideration: Games from 2014 that should be nominated for the XYZZY Awards by Molly
There were a lot of great games released in the past year, and now that the XYZZYs are coming up, it seems like a very good idea to take a poll of all the games from last year people would like to see nominated. The management has asked...

This is version 8 of this page, edited by autumnc on 5 January 2021 at 4:36am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item