Desperation & Disappointment: Social interaction in We Dare

As part of my Masters project I’ve been studying the patterns found in social interaction while gaming, and how people play games together (much more on this soon). Last week saw the release of Ubisoft’s “We Dare” across Europe. Here in the UK, our delicate sensibilities have been spared from this game, apparently due to the public’s reaction to the trailer, however it’s clear from footage and reviews that We Dare would lead to …interesting social interaction.

We Dare is a collection of mini-games. The game’s unique selling point is that these mini-games are meant to be risqué, and include activities such as stripping and spanking. This advert on youtube will give you a clear indication on the content in game.  Sexy right? Just like a trip to GAME.

GAME

Hot Stuff

In the studies I’ve been working on currently, we’ve tried to define the key behaviours noticed in social situations while playing games. These typically can be divided into categories such as “Sharing awareness”, where the players discuss game mechanics or what’s happening to their player, and “Trash Talk”, where players smack each other’s bitch up. These interactions can typically be found in most multiplayer games, from Mario Kart to Little Big Planet.

However We Dare seems to encourage a whole new group of interactions. Here are some of the potential behaviours you may see while playing:

Avert Eyes

  • Can also be combined with “pretend to get a text” or “fake a coughing fit”
  • Like that time when you were stuck in the pub with that newly-dating couple, it’s time to bust out this move when you really can’t stand to look at the horror-show in-front of you anymore. Hey, I’d never noticed how interesting the pattern is on the carpet before!

Ironic “I’m into it”

  • “Sure I’m playing this game with my brother because I don’t know any girls, but isn’t it funny!”
  • Careful about this one , it can be a worrying front – If the host is only playing it ironically, why did they buy the game in the first place?! (twist by M. Night Shyamalan)

Drink to forget

  • More of a long term game-plan than a short term interaction, but the pure awkwardness of this ‘swinging-for-dummies’ title may make you want to forget about the entire experience.
  • How about taking a shot each time in the evening you wish you’d stayed in school?

Make light conversation

  • “Hey, how about that football thing last night, right? What a game. I liked the ….goals”
  • Just like your grandma when a sex scene comes on TV, an easy way to deal with your host putting a Wii controller down your trousers is taking a sudden interest in the weather, or anything far far away from the here and now.

Leave

  • The nuclear option, for when you can no longer deal with an overweight nerd removing his trousers to show you his Wiimote. Best deployed immediately after someone says “Hey, I’ve got a game we can play….”
  • Protip: The only way to keep your dignity when playing We Dare.

Ultimately We Dare seems to have been designed to create a very very creepy experience, and a fascinating field to study! It’s just a shame the game itself is rubbish.

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