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Triad (video game)

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Triad
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A screenshot from the game Triad by Anna Anthropy.
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Designer(s)Anna Anthropy
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Composer(s)Liz Ryerson
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Platform(s)Adobe Flash
Release
  • NA: 2013
Genre(s)Puzzle
Mode(s)Single-player
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Triad is a puzzle Adobe Flash video game created by Anna Anthropy and Leon Arnott. It was developed to express the difficulties associated with fitting three people in one bed, in order for each to get a full night's sleep. The game was published on Anna's itch.io site for Windows and Mac.

Plot[edit]

At the surface, the game is about trying to fit three people and a cat in a bed, accounting for each person's unique sleeping quirks. One will flip over in bed, one will roll over, and the other snores which can wake the other two up. The cat will always jump on the same place in bed. Following a grid puzzle mechanic similar to Tetris, the player must place each person on the bed in such a way that their actions during the night will not awaken themself or anyone else. The game only features one 'level', although players have said it takes multiple tries to solve the entire puzzle.

Anthropy herself describes the game as, "TRIAD is about the most difficult puzzle of all: human relationships. The goal of TRIAD is to fit three lovers in a bed in such a way that everyone can get to sleep comfortably.

Easier said than done! Everyone has their own different needs and sleeping quirks. Plus there's a cat. Can YOU solve this puzzle? Many have tried - few have succeeded!"[1]

Although Anthropy's other work often more explicitly deals with themes of gender, queer communities, marginalized identities, and sexuality, 'Triad' is much more open to the interpretation of its material. Players have interpreted the plot as referencing the aftermath of a group's threesome, fearing conflict over breakfast if the puzzle is not solved.[2] Others have seen it as about polyamory, dealing with the taboo, or sexualization of everything. Ultimately, it 'doesn't explicitly say, leaving you to determine whatever meaning you want.'[3]

Reception[edit]

Triad has received praise from various sources for its success in succinctly communicating a human dilemma. Gamasutra's Randy OConnor commented that Triad coherently fits ideas about love and relationships within 'a poem of a game'. In a discussion about the politics of game mechanics, OConnor posits that the game is 'the right way to think about the whole and move us forward'.[4] Inverse's Sarah Sloat calls it a game that is 'brightly-designed' and 'deceptively simple'. With regards to relationships, she says the game leaves its meaning up to interpretation, 'which, when it comes to looking at relationships in games, is probably what we need most.' [3] Finally, Cara Ellison of Rock, Paper, Shotgun calls it 'a puzzling pleasure' and 'a short adorable block puzzle.' [2]

References[edit]

  1. Anthropy, Anna (8 October 2015). "Triad". itch.io. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ellison, Cara (19 March 2013). "Bedroom Gymnastics: Anna Anthropy's Triad". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sloat, Sarah (25 July 2016). "5 Video Games That Will make You Think About Sex (In A Smart Way)". Inverse. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  4. OConnor, Randy (19 April 2013). "Evolve Your Mechanics, Not Your Narrative". Gamasutra. Retrieved 16 March 2021.


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References[edit]


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