Doki Doki Literature Club

How to Cite

Spearman, P. (2022). Doki Doki Literature Club: Cute Girls, Violence, and Your Computer. PARtake: The Journal of Performance As Research, 5(1).


Initially released in 2017, Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) intentionally deceives, pretending to be an unremarkable Bishōjo or Japanese dating simulator, but as players progress through the story, they encounter a series of violent glitches that reveal the game’s true identity as a surreal horror experience taking place within the player’s computer. To stop the violence, players must delete certain files that the game installs on their computer during installation.

In this article, I argue that DDLC makes the player’s relationship with technology weird and highlights the casual cruelty with which many treat others online. Uniting player testimonies with aesthetic analysis, I explore the ways that the game offers a complicated (and incomplete) playable critique of sexualized and racialized violence online.
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