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(+5)

Solitaire is a collection of small, self-reflective games.

It's 17 pages, 6 games, no interior art, and ridiculously elegant, simple layout.

However, the games don't...necessarily feel like they were meant to be played. Rather, read and appreciated.

To put it another way, there's one that suggests you play it in traffic, and another that begins play when you are cut, and the writing for them is beautiful, but there aren't any guardrails (emotional or physical) and it's probably not a good idea to actually *play* a game that involves referencing a set of questions, paying attention to music, and thinking deeply while you are also operating a vehicle.

Overall, this reminded me a bit of Meguey Baker's "Playing Nature's Year." There's a similar ritual feel to the games, but the tone is less ceremonial and more about going on a personal journey.

If you like games that are extremely introspective, or that feel like poetry, or that work with mechanics you wouldn't expect (growing a plant, bleeding, swimming in a community pool,) you should absolutely pick up a copy of Solitaire.

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I am a little discomforted that one of the games in this collection, Crimson, requires that the player be injured to the point of bleeding, and that they use a bandage to play with the blood and then hide the bandage somewhere outside. Both totally unhygenic as a biohazard someone else might find, and also... poses quite the risk of triggering or even encouraging people to self-harm themselves..

I know that's not the intention, clearly a lot of love is put into this, but.. regardless of intention it seems irresponsible to have a game which has instructions that start with "first for this game you have to get cut."

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Hi! Thanks for leaving your comment. Like many lyric games, Crimson is written with the intention of being enjoyed as a literary text or poetic piece as much as, if not more than, a literal set of instructions. Yoko Ono's Grapefruit is a strong example of this kind of text that precedes me by several decades. 

To be very clear, I would certainly never advocate self harm as a game instruction. In fact, I believe the game text states that the game is triggered by an accidental cut — a paper cut, for example — so that even in the conceptual framing, players are not imagining themselves causing deliberate self injury.

One possible change I could make, and am quite happy to, is to change the document to include a content warning at the top of the game, perhaps for "blood"?

I hope that was helpful and assuaged some of your concerns! 

Warmest regards,
Jeeyon