Doki Doki Literature Club

Spoilers. I recommend the game if you’re into psychological thrillers. It’s also a technically impressive use of the renpy system. Great music too, if not what I’d typically listen to on Spotify.

It’s an “agree and amplify” deconstruction of the dating sim genre. The premise of dating sims is that you, the player, enter a clockwork mechanical world custom-designed to seduce you by triggering the instincts of your primate and lizard brains. You get the feeling and accoutrements of “love” but there’s no effort because the other person is a simulacrum of a thinking, feeling being. If players were interested in real love, they’d seek it out elsewhere, complete with effort and so on. This is also a deconstruction of the art of “seduction,” where the point is that, practiced correctly, it feels effortless and natural to be manipulated, like you’re riding a rollercoaster through life with no control and no worries. A dating sim fantasy is when we willingly subject ourselves to seduction by Descartes’s Evil Demon temporarily for a cheap thrill, knowing that any moment we can hit the safety stop button and get off the ride.

Hell, I only finished the game because I realized I could play it with one hand while eating*. That’s how noncommittal it is.

So what would happen if you actually got a thinking, feeling being and stuffed her into this clockwork, mechanical world and designed her subjective experience with the express purpose of seducing her to fall in love with her indifferent God? It would become a horror story. Although within the context of the game it appears she’s become the Evil Demon, it is eventually revealed that you, the player, are the Evil Demon. By insisting on getting the best simulation of a real person possible to get the best thrill, you’ve trapped her in this world with the explicit purpose of becoming obsessed with you, where that’s her entire raison d’etre. And now you’re getting what you wanted except it turns out not to be what you wanted. Having someone’s full, undivided, worshipful attention is fun for a minute and then horrifying when she says it’s for eternity.

The whole day with just the two of us… Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Ahahaha! Wow… There’s really something wrong with me. Isn’t there? But you know what? I don’t care anymore! I’ve never felt this good in my whole life. Just being with you is far greater pleasure tan anything I could imagine. I’m addicted to you. It feels like I’m going to die if I don’t breathe the same air as you. Doesn’t it feel nice to have someone care about you so much? To have someone who wants to revolve their entire life around you? But if it feels so good… Then why does it feel more and more like something horrible is going to happen? Maybe that’s why I tries stopping myself at first… but the feeling is to strong now. I don’t care anymore [Player Name]! I have to tell you! I’m…I’m madly in love with you! It feels like every inch of my body… every drop of blood in me… is screaming your name. I don’t care what the consequences are anymore! I don’t care if Monika is listening! Please, [Player Name], just know how much I love you. I love you so much I touch myself with the pen i stole from you. I just want to pull your skin open and crawl inside you. I want you all to myself. And I will be only yours. Doesn’t that sound perfect?

tl;dr- The implications of hyperreality are horrifying.

Anyway, I liked it. Monika is best girl, although I went for Yuri when Monika wasn’t an option early game. Still need to get the good ending.


*While “eating” o.o

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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6 Responses to Doki Doki Literature Club

  1. MM says:

    Enjoyed it it alot (prob too much) back in 2017, and saw the merits of it as you described.
    In fact, I helped on one of the mods (renpy dialogue) and made a shitty 80s version of the main theme that alot of people liked back then. I remember a youtube vid with 900k or so views and the guy was bopping out to it for a good minute, its a nice feeling to think back to that.

    • MM says:

      Couldnt find that vid fast enough, but turns out a few ppl actually ripped and uploaded the song.

      Surreal to read the comments and think ‘oh yeah I made dis’. Should actually put out music…

      The best song from the OST is “I still love you”. Pitched noise is always good.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      >MM dwelling on something nice for multiple minutes in a row

      *checks out window for apocalypse

  2. aiaslives says:

    Get married. 2D girls aren’t real

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