I’m on a study project to improve my understanding of roleplaying games. To this end, I already have two reading projects, A Game Per Year and An Adventure Per Year. This is the third, with the goal of reading or playing 52 games made in the last few years. Originally I considered making this “A New RPG Per Week” and that’s where the number 52 comes from, even though a weekly schedule is probably not within my abilities.
Summer Lovin’ is a Fastaval scenario originally published in 2012 created by Trine Lise Lindahl, Elin Nilsen and Anna Westerling. It’s set in an interesting milieu, among summer music festival organizers. The six characters are broken into three couples and the scenario is about the sex they’ve had and how they talk about it.
In the rarefied field of roleplaying games about sex, Summer Lovin’ is definitely a pioneer breaking new ground almost ten years before recent releases such as the Honey & Hot Wax anthology and my own Bad Sex: The Roleplaying Game. Furthermore, it’s an elegant, well designed game where the themes are sketched out with a small selection of well-chosen design elements.
Each couple has had sex at a festival. This conjures up a very specific type of sexual experience: Possibly drunk, in a tent in a camping area, flush with the excitement of the festival. Each sex scene is featured twice, first as the characters tell the story to their friends and then as it really happened.
In a way this is a scenario about awkward sex but the specifics of the characters and the milieu give it other nuances as well. It probably works best if the participants have been to summer music festivals, and even better if they have had sex there. Lived experience can inform the play as it goes through suboptimal sex.