It's Nothing follows Harper and Riley as their relationship becomes abusive. Though their story includes many abusive incidents, players do not enact abusive actions during play; instead the scenario employs extensive techniques to represent the abuse without directly portraying it. These techniques include drawing injuries on the the Harper player with washable marker, recording statements of emotional injury on tape which are worn by the Harper player, and dedicated "abuse sequences" that mediates abusive events within the narrative.
An early draft of It's Nothing appeared at the Stockholm Scenario Festival in 2015 under the title "Making Silence/Breaking Silence." It's Nothing was nominated for the Indie Groundbreaker 2016 Game of the Year award by the IGDN.
Two players play the couple, the rest play bystanders - other people in the couple's lives. Bystander players are likely to play a couple of different characters during the game. Characters are generated at game.
The game uses a structure in which some scenes are played live, alternating with semi-abstract abuse sequences where abuse is represented and narrated but not portrayed live.
Credits & Contact
- Written by
- Tayler Stokes
- Tayler Stokes
- Game Contact
- The Act Apart
- Saturday, September 15, 8:00 pm
- Rooms are not yet assigned.
- 5 hours
- 4-5 [0 female, 0 male, 4-5 player-defined, 0 other]
- Age Requirements
- Content Warnings
- Play is very likely to include narrative regarding and representations of emotional abuse (love bombing, verbal abuse, isolation, manipulation, gaslighting); physical abuse (displays of violence, assault, strangulation, femicide), psychological abuse (neglect, sleep deprivation, intimidation, trauma bonding, terrorization). Play may include narrative regarding and representations of sexual abuse (sexual assault, rape).
- Physical Contact Rules
- Mostly default, with the caveat that play techniques include drawing on one player's skin with non-toxic markers (cleaning supplies provided) to represent physical and emotional injuries. Some players will also wear strips of tape.
- Safety Mechanics
- The default safety mechanics will be used. There are additional safety mechanics hardwired to the scenario\'s structure to allow the players in the most intense roles to moderate their play experience during play. For example: The player who takes the role of the victim has the option to conclude the game at any time, but this decision has a fictional alibi (choosing to stay with their partner, in this case) so that the other players will never know if that choice was made for the sake of that player's personal safety or not because it is a narratively coherent choice regardless. Numerous other play procedures have calibration elements to them in a similar fashion.
- Food in use
- No food is used in this game.