I’m not going to try and define love in this post. That is a fool’s errand. It’s all I can do to keep myself from cramming it full of more song title references than is reasonable. But love is definitely on the minds of our players in Face the Future.
There is the perennial teen concern: unrequited love. What happens when you love someone and they’re uninterested? Could the feeling of your love ever change their mind?
Of course, there was also some concern over the privacy and rights of expressing oneself to a crush, that prompted some really interesting discussion of permissions for sending and receiving feels.
Could the feeling of love make you brave and ready to love again after a long time of hurting? Sock Monkey muses that this could indeed happen over FeelThat.
There is also a Buddhist theme of love and compassion running through a number of cards (See #compassion). Loving kindness as a practice that in the future could be more than just contemplative. You could overwrite your emotions towards difficult people with love.
On the other hand this robust cluster from Player Catherine Miranda Zue started a fascinating discussion of moderating really intense emotions so they could be “safe” for others. A few people mentioned love in passing in this cluster, but it got me thinking. If iconic teen lovers Romeo and Juliet could have taken it down a notch, might it have saved their lives?
Early on in the game there was some concern that some emotions on the FeelThat network could be too explicit. They might compromise the “innocence” of young users. My IFTF colleague Lyn Jeffery did a nice roundup of these concerns.
“I Am Not a Pornographer” is a beautiful and entertaining rant, but the takeaway is that love and intimacy and sex are all very different things. Especially when we’re young and exploring our sexuality, comfort with boundaries, and emotional compatibility, love/intimacy/sex are not only different and often excruciatingly awkward. Emotional intimacy is the least awkward (specifically in Looking for Alaska), because it is the most elastic towhat the people involved are actually comfortable with. While we as a society may rightly judge some too young for sex, who are we to interfere with “pure” emotional intimacy among the teenagers of 2026?
If you were in love and had the FeelThat network, what would you want to share with your beloved?