While playing It takes two, my own daughter has witnessed, to her horror, Cutie the Elephant, Rose’s prized toy, being chased by Cody and May, who have every intention of destroying it. My daughter was rightly troubled by the thought of Cody and May destroying Rose’s treasured childhood toy.
“It’s actually a very important scene,” says Fares, “because it’s the absolute lowest point for parents. It’s part of their emotional evolution not to understand what’s important to them. It’s not isn’t a joke, but it’s dark humor – and with dark humor, some people get it and some don’t.
Fares clarifies, “I understand that some were quite upset by this scene, but in true Hazelight style, if it’s part of the vision, it will still be strongly reflected in the game.”
Playing It takes two got me thinking about the psychological benefits of playing with my partner. Could playing games make us better spouses? Some raved this It takes two is a great alternative to couples therapy because players must cooperate and collaborate constructively if they want to complete the game.
Amy Bland, a cognitive neuroscientist at Manchester Metropolitan University, and her team have conducted research on two-player games and collaboration. Players who contributed more to the game than their partner were less willing to cooperate and share their team’s winnings, while players who contributed equally were much more willing to collaborate and work together toward a common goal.
In an interview, Bland explains, “Collaboration involves decision-making in a social context. So collaboration is not easy and it takes some trust to be successful.”
Bland’s research has implications for real-life relationships. His work implies that trust is important to cooperating and playing together successfully, which is something anyone who has played multiplayer games can probably tell you. You and a bunch of people you don’t know probably don’t trust each other – and won’t work together as well either – as a team of players who already know and trust each other.
Bland’s research emphasizes the importance of mutual trust and knowing that when one partner is down or has been killed by a boss, the other is there to carry the burden. We see this in It takes two because if Cody or May dies and a player doesn’t reenter the game and come back to life, the game can’t continue. In short, a character cannot play It takes two alone. The name is, literally, It takes two.
She explains, “Working together as a couple in real life is key to having a successful relationship. If neither party is willing to prioritize shared goals over personal goals, successful collaboration in a successful relationship becomes difficult.
There must be a willingness to show up, cooperate and persevere in every difficult situation. Bland shares his words of wisdom for a successful relationship, “Learning to work together for common goals is an essential part of a successful relationship. When obstacles arise, whether in game or in real life, we must have a level of trust that we support each other.”