Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art

Research & Creation

The Truly Terrific Traveling Troubleshooter

Jess Marcotte, Squinky

The Truly Terrific Traveling Troubleshooter is a radically soft suitcase game about emotional labour and otherness. The game speculates about what would happen if emotional labour were valued in the same way that 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.