200 Word RPG of the Week: Kataware Doki, the Game of Body Swapping

Posted by on June 8, 2017

Joseph Le May‘s Kataware Doki is a 2-player LARP heavily inspired by a Japanese anime film, Makoto Shinkai’s amazingly successful Your Name.

The game just directly tells you to play out the central conceit, of two characters switching bodies. There are no mechanics in the game, just things you’re supposed to do at different times. (That’s okay; RPGs can do that.) You play the game over the course of four body swaps.

Interestingly, in the first three swaps, each player simply describes the other character’s life. Players cannot interact with the characters in the other person’s life; just ask and answer questions. This part of the game would feel stronger with some kind of time limit, I feel, like 5 minutes per player per swap.

During the fourth body swap, you play a particular piece of music, and this time you must look directly in each other’s eyes, and you may physically touch each other. During this phase, you must tell each other something “both true and beautiful” about the other person’s life.

I love this, because as the players ask and answer questions throughout the game, they’ll be looking for something true and beautiful about the other player’s life. That’s the core beauty of this game: The players must pay attention to each others’ lives.

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