Well, This Is Awkward is a twine game about buying condoms. You play as woman tasked with condoms buying before she and her partner have sex, and every step of the way you’re prone to doing something a little bit weird. While the writing makes sure you go to the most cringeworthy depths of human interaction, the game makes its point well: having safe sex is worth the embarrassment.
In college, a small shop in my student union sold condoms of all kinds for ten cents, staffed by students that wouldn’t judge you. My first time buying condoms in the wild was something else. Not only was I buying condoms with the intention of taking them home to my parent’s house, none of the brands were familiar to me and I would have rather died than ask anyone for help.
Well, This Is Awkward captures that feeling perfectly: the opportunity for awkwardness is everywhere as you decide what else to buy and whether or not you talk to anybody along the way.
To my own shame, there were moments in that game that were things I had actually done. Before even you leave the apartment, you’re given the option to say something a little strange to your partner. As I played through that, I remembered that an ex-boyfriend had once forbidden me from saying “X gon’ give it to you,” in the bedroom. But sex, and the experiences surrounding sex, usually don’t go off without a hitch.
Realizing that these experiences are universal can actually save you from some embarrassment in the future. I actually found that ancient box of condoms in my parent’s house this summer, unopened and unused. I was cleaning out my old dresser and I had apparently hidden them underneath a bunch of sweaters. My mom was there. It actually wasn’t all that awkward.