Arachnymph is an experimental game that, through allegories and symbols, simulates foreplay and sex in heterosexual pairings.

This proof of concept was created by Nina Croitoru for the Experimental Interaction course at the IT University of Copenhagen. Coding was done in Flash using the Flixel library while the animations were done using the alpha version of Spriter.
Many thanks to Andrei Livadariu and Anders Lystad Brevik for the much needed coding help and bug fixing.

The game stemmed from the following idea: In mainstream culture and media, intercourse is most often portrayed as the most important bit of sex.
Foreplay is often forgotten, thought of as a lesser version of the “real thing”. Considering the fact that, according to studies, a vast majority of women ( ~80% ) do not experience pleasure from intercourse alone, I set out to create a game that puts foreplay in the spotlight.

In order to engage in sexual intercourse with a woman, therefore reaching the much sought after pleasure, the male must first invest energy into properly approaching her. Just like spiders copulating, rushing too fast might trigger a “fight or flight” response in the lady. Feeling threatened, she might run away or act in self-defense. And no one wants their head viciously ripped off.

The allegory of a female spider waiting in the middle of the web for her mate to approach seemed perfect for this purpose. The small male spider would have to thread his way carefully around the web, being attentive to the female’s feedback and responding accordingly, in order to fulfill her wishes, her desires and to rise up to her expectations.
He would have to feel her through the vibrations of the web and through the few visual cues she would offer in order to get closer to her and to get her ready for what will follow.

The game was originally designed for tablets or PC with an analog stick controller.
The inherently physical aspect of tablets would enhance the mood of the game, the circular motions of the fingertips on the tablet’s surface successfully simulating a sensual caress.
In the case of the PC version, the movement of the analog stick is sleek and somehow sensual and still retains much of the physicality a tablet has.
However, this initial proof of concept uses the arrow keys to move the male spider around.

There are plans to port, expand and streamline the game so that it better fits the initial design and vision.


Designer, Artist, Programmer


Experimental Interaction ITU


December 2013


Game, Experimental, Simulation