June 6, 2023

Arcade News

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“Trolls need kind words the most”

In 2019, a team of three people released a game on Steam as a kind of experiment, an unusual game about anonymously writing and receiving letters from other real people in the world. It was called Kind Words. I wrote about it at the time.

The team, Popcannibal, didn’t think it would make much of an impact. Maybe 2000 people would play before it faded away. “We were wrong,” co-founder Ziba Scott said in a talk at GDC this week. “It was a huge success.

“People showed up to play in their thousands right away and haven’t stopped in over a year-and-a-half now. Players poured their hearts out. It quickly became very personal and dark, and silly, and just everything. All of humanity showed up: loving, angry, confused, messy, suicidal, depressed, giddy, playful – everything. And strangers diligently replied.”

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