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Please Don't Take This The Wrong Way

by Crosshollow profile


Web Site

(based on 2 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

A rambling one-sided conversation about the past, the present, and the future. Interactive... non-fiction? Idk. There's nothing poetic about this.

Content warning for frank discussion of self harm.

This is my entry for the Neo-Twiny Jam. Clocks in at 499 words.

Game Details


Entrant - Neo-Twiny Jam


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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A neat twisting of a potentially manipulative phrase, July 6, 2023
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)
Related reviews: Neo Twiny Jam

"Please don't take this the wrong way" can be said at least two ways: from a position of power, or not. It can act as a pre-emptive apology all polite listeners had better accept and, thus, let the speaker rattle on for longer than they really should. This sort of conversation is often laced with "no offense, but you know what your problem is?" or "I know I can be harsh sometimes, but people need to wake up and hear the TRUTH!" and other such gems. Or it can be legitimately confused, realizing you see something a certain way and don't want to look down on those who don't, and they don't even have to come over to your view.

The speaker in this interactive essay/poem is decidedly in the "not" category. They've probably heard the phrase a lot from more powerful and confident people, both those who want to help them, and those who don't. They have a pretty clear idea of what they want to say, but all the same, people do seem to take it the wrong way, or they offer pity or other things that don't help. Or they put more stock in certain actions than they should.

One of the key phrases revealed on clicking is "I just want people to listen sometimes." And this struck me: everyone wants someone to listen sometimes. For many non-autistic people, they know how to increase that sometimes until acquaintances find it hard to pull away, whether at the start of a conversation or after thirty minutes of yacking. Whil I can't speak for anyone autistic, they know they probably aren't good at it, and they see the facts, and that's all that needs to be said. But that makes people more squeamish than some narcissistic fool's endless blather about how they had to wait in line too long at the DMV, or something.

The essay itself has words or phrases you click, which let the user expound. If you're paying attention, you'll see roughly where it's going, that here is a person who just wants to be understood and really, clearly, does not deserve to have some "wise" adult pass off some rubbish like "to be understood, first you must seek to understand others" before, perhaps, saying they understand the speaker perfectly, and it ain't pretty.

I've met people who are able to laugh off self-destructive or self-impairing behaviors (a "happy drunk" is a relatively benign case here) and people who feel bad they can't fix things they want to. But there's also some unwritten rule many of us live by, in that if we see something wrong with ourselves or others, we should try and fix it. The narrator here has experienced do-gooders who followed that rule, in various degrees of good faith, and they don't help. Perhaps this can apply to those of us who are not very social but would like to be and fail, or even those who keep making the same programming mistakes over and over again. So I appreciate this work very much.

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An expandable essay, July 17, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: less than 15 minutes

This game is an essay in an expendable format, written for the Neo Twiny Jam in 500 words or less.

It's an edgy tale, with theme of black, red and white and displayed over a background of what looks like abstract art of muscle cells.

It is one static paragraph with numerous links that expand into their own page, giving it the feel of a children's book with little openable paper windows giving more details. I like this technique and would enjoy seeing i more for short works.

It's about self-harm, and a very different take than Gavin Inglis's game Hana Feels, which was an educational game designed to inspire sympathy. This game explicitly rejects sympathy; to the author, self-harm varies between amusing and matter of fact. It's not meant to be something sad.

The game has a very focused narrative and tone. The narrator wants zero credit or sympathy for both self-harming and stopping self-harming, so in accord with their wish, I will afford them none, but for other readers in similar situations, I do have sympathy for you.

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The things we want to say to empty our hearts, June 23, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: neotwinyjam

A personal piece about the yearning to talk to others about one's past and trauma without receiving judgement or pity from the listener. But it is also about wanting to feel seen without having others making a big deal out of those things (even if rationally those things could be a big deal).

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This is version 1 of this page, edited by manonamora on 13 June 2023 at 7:28pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page