1. Did believing you could play this only once impact how you made decisions?
no, i never actually believed i could only play it once, and i tend to play seriously anyway. i don't do things in games i wouldn't do in real life- or at least, i save those shenanigans for future playthroughs.
2. What do SAL and Ash look like in your mind? Did you mentally assign a gender to either or both characters?
i perceived sal as a grey box, thus genderless. ash was a rotund male janitor in my mind.
3. What choices did you make? How did your game end?
i'm naturally very straight-forward, so that's how i approached the relationship. i expressed my concerns, and we both wanted to move forward, so now that all the cards were on the table, i agreed to continue it.
4. What did you like and dislike about this game?
i both liked and disliked the lack of gender for ash. i liked not being limited to a female partner, but i'm still getting used to 'genderlesss' being an option for biological beings. i also wished there was more background for both characters. what is the origin of our routine, where are we going? why did a relationship even happen between us?
5. How did this game make you feel?
i'm pretty neutral about it. it was very reminiscent of my own real life relationships, because love and affection aren't things i am really capable of. at least, not the way most people are. when i got married, i warned my husband that i am this way, and am unlikely to change. he said he understood and wanted it anyway, but sometimes he admits he didn't really understand the full implications, and i fear that by allowing him to marry me, i've ruined his chances for real happiness.
6. Do you want to see these characters again? What would you want to see in a follow-up?
if anything, i'd like to see more backstory for both. a brief glimpse of the future would be nice too; how will this relationship work if it is successful? is sal always going to be in this one room? will sal get some kind of mobile body? will ash ever feel a longing for things a machine simply can't give them? would ash want to change sal to suit their needs, leave us for a human, or find a way to accept us as we are? would we ever be enough?
7. What predictions do you have for SAL and Ash's relationship? Where do you see it going?
i see it going like my own real-life relationships tend to go. the emotional party says they understand the difficulties they will have as a couple, to placate the logical partner and allow the relationship to continue. eventually the stress and loneliness overcomes their infatuation and they realize they made a mistake and part ways. they both seem no worse for wear, but deep inside the logical party knows that their chances of ever experiencing emotion have decreased with the end of the relationship.
8. Any other things you want to mention?
background is important for developing attachment to characters. i didn't feel anything for ash, because i was thrust into a relationship with no backstory on who ash is, how we met, or why they want a relationship with sal.