[Laureline Chiapello + Florian Glesser|Drop/lets/fail to connect]

This short minimalist poetic game wants to remind its players of a simple thing: despite all the pain they can bring, obstacles can also connect people. Telling our stories, especially the difficult ones, is a way to connect. This work looks like a classic/retro video game where the player has to avoid obstacles. However, in order to discover the story, it is necessary to fail. Winning all the time is not possible nor necessary. Failing is connecting. The title can be first read as a failure: “Droplets, fail to connect”, but in the end it is instead a happy injunction to fail: Drop, let’s fail [in order] to connect! 

Our inspiration came from other games which invite a disconnection from mainstream AAA games by their art and meaning, like Undertale (Toby Fox, 2015). In his book The Art of Failure (2012), Jesper Juul wrote that in games “it is the threat of failure that gives us a thing to do in the first place” (Juul, 2012, p.45). We wanted to question this: what if failure was instead a way to access new meanings? As Nele Van de Mosselaer (2019) and Juul himself stress, games are not separated from life: they are life, and the very idea of avoiding obstacles in life might be seducing but is unrealistic. So the game suggests that we should start seeing obstacles differently. Finally, we wanted to do something with a lighter feeling in the middle of the pandemic, to disconnect from the world for a few minutes and come back with a slightly changed perspective.