Playing Tender: Creature Comforts reminded me of the days when you went to internet cafes and connected to Terra’s chat to have a good time. When I was little I met up with some friends and we created fake profiles for each other as a game and a social experiment. And we weren’t the only ones. We wanted to have fun, laugh. Now I think about it and we weren’t aware that there were people behind it, some like us probably took it as a joke, but there are also real profiles that we could violate with our behavior. A behavior that made this anonymity possible.

And while it’s a game, Tender emulates probably the most popular dating app – Tinder. A dating simulator with one goal: to find love.

We are on an unfamiliar planet where you basically meet people with the aim of finding a partner. On arrival they give us a visa with which we can keep 10 appointments. This is the time when we have to find our better half because the game ends on the tenth date and we have to start over.

The first thing we need to do is create a profile with a photo – showing that we are astronauts – and a brief description of ourselves. So the game offers us a number of pictures and phrases to choose from, which will allow us to draw a little of our interests or our character. Something simple and basic. And that first point makes me think about it. Do we use reality in choosing this image or description, or do we choose what we believe will attract more? Make no mistake, these profiles, these applications, will be linked. Just as Tender limits you to choose between closed options, in real life it is we ourselves who limit our reality to fit what we hope will please.

But we will not only personalize our profile, but so that we can identify ourselves better while playing, they will ask us a series of initial questions about our spelling: If we use capital letters at the beginning of a sentence, we shorten words when we use emoticons .. Anything we mark there will be reflected later in the conversations we have and it is something we value in order to have a better experience.

I mentioned that we were on an unknown planet, but what I didn’t say was that it was full of aliens of all kinds. In fact, it will be difficult to find someone human like us. A very subtle way of imagining the diversity we find in real life while distancing ourselves from the stereotypes we would have if they wanted to reproduce the looks of real people.

How does it work? Well how do I imagine these apps: swipe or not to those we want to know and wait for them to return something similar. Very simple: on the left if you don’t like it and on the right if it caught your attention and you want to find out more about it. I say wait because tender is made as if everything is in real time. So it is possible that you like someone, but after a while you don’t have the match you expected and you can’t start chatting.

This is where the chat phase begins, you get to know the person behind it a little better and hope that there is enough interest on both sides to stay on a date at the end. But let’s not rush, because we’ll find everything in Tender. There are those who seek company, other true love, casual and straightforward sex, you will find those who suggest open relationships, some bots and even your ex. All real like life itself.

Tender_Swipe

Funny how Tender plays with reality, that’s all he needs. And no matter what the reason for leading someone to this application, you really don’t know who is behind it. The power and courage behind anonymity allow you to treat yourself not as a person but almost as a number. I say this because everything is superficial, from selecting potential candidates to the interviews themselves.

From the start, it takes seconds to decide whether or not we care about a person. And we rely on the picture, on this brief description, or simply on the feeling it conveys. Superficiality. So are we looking for love? It’s hard when just an image that probably fits the preset cannons best makes you feel that pull. Let’s get to our description: a simple sentence that describes the personality. Brief descriptions that give us a touch of their personality: people who value work a lot if they want sporadic relationships or a serious relationship, people who are more zen, more playful or feminist. And I wonder if we’re telling the truth there? I’ve never used a dating app before, but if I knew each other it most likely wouldn’t really portray me for who I am, they’d have to meet me. But instead, we hope that’s enough for us to make that click.

Let’s get back to the chats. In doing so, Tender maintains this attention to detail by applying the initial choices we made to express ourselves and allowing us to choose between different options in our responses. It seems to me to be an application trying to fit people, the feeling it gives me is the opposite. Most of the time they’ll be on the defensive to a minimum, they won’t reach you because it’s not the horoscope they’re expecting or simply because you don’t like a series they are doing. Not counting those who bombard you with questions or tell you their concerns. While it’s true that sometimes you’ll like it just to disprove something that’s in its description …

After a while of talking – or days – with the person, you notice that you are a match for you, that this feeling exists, and you make an appointment (remember that you only have 10 attempts). Note that this is done in real time. We will plan the day and time and we need to be attentive to get into the game and not be late or get up for our appointment as it may not suit you very well. And that it’s in this real format, even if it’s ideal for wanting to create it so realistically, can be overwhelming. It’s a game, I like to play it when I feel like it, but Tender manages these obligations, the deadlines. You go on a real date with enthusiasm, with enthusiasm and with nerve. Here, however, you live it as a task at hand. Or at least that’s how I lived it.

And the day is coming. You arrive at the agreed location and the appointment is made in text form, without pictures, because there is nothing better than letting your imagination run wild. Here we will have a wide variety of appointments. Will you find love Maybe not, like in real life, but you will have a good time distracted.

The closest thing I got in the games I played was being in a relationship with your ex again. For the rest, Tender invites us to experience 10 dating mistakes, but with the most peculiar experiences. It is true that in the majority it will be our fault and this is where the game is a bit tricky. We go with the aim of finding that love in the game and possibly we will bring people together who we would not give, we have conversations that we would not have in reality and although we do not find that connection in the date, we wait off what they do tell us when we get there. This leads to them rejecting us when we probably would have already done it ourselves.

But these mistakes don’t have to be negative, because you take something with you from every appointment and learn it. With some, there will be no connection and they will remain in friendship, with others, after 5 minutes, you will simply regret it because it is not what you expected. In some, they will even try to eat you. But you will have a good time in all of them.

As I said, Tender is not an innovation, it is a game that reflects reality. But it makes it clear to you how we treat each other, what superficiality is hidden in these applications and how anonymity can bring out the worst in us. It makes us aware of how we protect ourselves more or less consciously and at the same time show the image that we want and not the real one.

We’re going to a planet full of aliens to find love, but they’re basically dating apps, right? A planet full of people, everyone with their needs, peculiarities, eccentricities and problems who come together to meet people and who know if they will find love.