Love is Zero is a quick replayable song-poem about vampire tennis school girls on the moon. Each playthrough is unique.
Unlike most hypertext, clicking a link in Love is Zero doesn't travel to a new node, but instead adds words to a growing sentence, spatial navigation replaced by textual generation. Instead of driving a car various places, it's like walking up and down a train, seeing different scenery from different windows.
You don't have that much control as a teen. You wake up years later and everything is full of blood.
It's about being multitudes. We are made of contradictions and that's still us. Girls are torn between everything.
It's about bullying. We do horrible things to each other, not because children are horrible but because we live in a horrible society where we copy adult behaviors and they teach us to hurt other children.
From this New Inquiry article by Maxwell Neely-Cohen:
"...UC Davis sociologists Robert Faris and Diane Femlee completed an authoritative study of the social network of a single North Carolina school. They tracked the social status and interactions of every single student over an entire semester, exhaustively cataloging every single instance of abuse and harassment."
One of their findings:
"Singular students were often both targets and perpetrators, bully and victim."
Another study expands on this:
"Those who were both victims and bullies experienced the most significant long-term consequences, with the highest rates of depressive disorders, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and suicidality."
(of course, ostracism and verbal violence accounts for 90 percent of bullying, so Love is Zero's focus on physical violence limits its scope--a game modeling ostracism over a social network across a period of time would be required to do justice to the reality of gendered harassment)
One of the most taboo subjects in our world is any real, in-depth conversation about female competition, the first bastion of defense for the patriarchy.
For me, discussing female competition is neither about glorifying it or putting down women, but to have conversations that lead to a greater awareness of the dynamics of female competition so we can interrogate where those feelings come from.
I wouldn't call this is a deep game on that subject, it's a fucked up cartoon, but it's an acknowledgment of that and a lot of other teen feelings. It's about vampire tennis school girls having emotions on the moon