This new "dog-petting" game is perfect for anyone who's ever struggled with social anxiety

Will Herring

While a bunch of us view parties as being fun, that’s not the case for others. We’d rather be home, petting dogs and avoiding possibly uncomfortable situations. A new game called Pet the Pup at the Party tackles social anxiety pretty well. Available for PC and Mac, the goal is to ignore the people, and find the pup. (Then, start petting.)

The genius game, created by Will Herring, lets you experience the party from a first-person viewpoint. All that’s visible is your hand, already equipped for some petting — and, also helpful to gently push partygoers out of your way. Sure, you can chat with the strangers — but really, the goal is seeing how many dogs you can find and successfully pet before the timer runs out.

pet-the-pup-screencap
Will Herring

It is way, way harder than you might imagine. Because this house has multiple rooms and doors, and the best way to navigate towards a dog is to try hard and hear the loving arfs.

But patience pays off, since these doggos are definitely worth finding.

party-pups
Will Herring

Your goal during each game is to pet as many dogs as possible while racing the clock. It’s just funny that someone created a game based on this premise, since we’ve been there. Multiple times.

Of course, aside from how many dogs you’ve pet, it also tallies how many strangers you’ve talked to. So, while doing so takes away valuable seconds from your mission, it’s still a nice little boost to imagine yourself socializing with people you’re not immediately comfortable speaking to.

end-of-the-game
Will Herring

Need to play this game right this second? We had a feeling.

You can download Pet the Pup at the Party through Itch.io. Herring is asking people to name their price for the download, which seems generous. The fact that he seems to really know us — without knowing us — is definitely worth something.

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