Author ········· Edgar Allan Poe
Medium ········· Print
Published ······ July 1845
Language ······· English

Alpine Thistle®

Liaison is a multiplayer fetish game about awkward intimacies. It uses VR technology to accurately track positioning in physical space but is not a VR game. Eschewing the serious (though not the significant), Liaison explores constraint, fetish gear, and bodily entanglement from a place of both frustration and delight. Players are asked to don restrictive controllers that act as a catalyst for the release of inhibition via the gamespace. As players contort their bodies into intimate, often entangled shapes, building a multi-sensory landscape through collaborative movement and hampered but heightened physical communication, their actions serve as an allegory for the ways bodies and negotiations create play within Queer BDSM space.

Liaison is accompanied by the research project PowerGaming: Queer BDSM and Weird Little Games, which explores the ways Queer BDSM (Bondage/Discipline, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism) can inform the development of critically engaged  games. More specifically, it is an investigation into the ways the considerations of Queer BDSM, such as the redefinition of pleasure, can be harnessed to create play that promotes queer subjectivities and challenges hetero/cisnormative play. Through designing specifically for the body as a site of brink/edge space, Powergaming uses the methods of feminist pornography to encourage the cross-pollination of meaning across these boundaries, with the ultimate goal of engendering queerly subversive play.