The Truly Terrific Traveling Troubleshooter (by Jess Marcotte and Dietrich Squinkifer) 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.
The digital port of this project was supported by the Hexagram Network.