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The Truly Terrific Traveling Troubleshooter

Jess Rowan Marcotte and D. Squinkifer

Project Type
  • hybrid game
  • interactive theatre
  • soft
  • physical touch
  • handcrafted
  • suitcase

Apr 2017

The Truly Terrific Traveling Troubleshooter is a radically soft suitcase game about emotional labour and otherness. In this game, we speculate about what would happen if emotional labour were valued as it should be — as in, the same way we value other labour.

This physical/digital hybrid roleplaying game for two people fits entirely inside of a carry-on suitcase. One player takes on the role of the Troubleshooter and the other is a Customer with a trouble. Assisted by the Troubleshooter’s toolkit, the SUITCASE (Suitcase Unit Intended to Cure All Sorts of Emotions), the players work together to find a solution to this problem.

All the objects within the suitcase are handmade with soft materials and connected to a digital interface. The combination of a hard-shell suitcase with the soft innards that form the core of the game is a physical metaphor for radical softness and feelings. Softness, yielding, vulnerability, cuteness and other traditionally feminized traits are often associated with weakness, and in a culture that valorizes strength, having a thick skin, stoicness, logic over affect, and other “masculinized” traits, being soft is a radical act.