html file / minimum resolution: 350x600 pixels / language: english
The Abusive Relationship Simulator appears to be a simple text adventure which can be accessed online
(fullscreen version here*) as well as in a fixed terminal.
Contrary to its genre-abiding design, the program deviates from the norm in some very specific ways: The game can neither be won nor can the storyline be lastingly affected. There is no ending, no high score and all in all only 300 words which are displayed in a semi-randomized manner: The computer has a pre-programmed set of reactions available to any kind of player behavior, to which the player then can only be reactionary himself and which he cannot foresee. Interacting with the program always leads to a loop until the player decides to stop playing altogether. As long as he participates, in the narration’s diegesis, he becomes an ‘enabler’ who continuously passes the ball to the computer who impersonates an abusive partner.
The program is not written solely with textbook information, but is a patchwork of experiences of an assortment of different real people who lived through relationships similar to the one depicted.
* The ARS is written in a version of Twine no longer supported by all web browsers and servers and there is a good chance the itch.io link might not be working for you. Feel free to contact me if you would like to have access to the file itself to check whether your browser can handle it offline.