Coffee Talk Makes Me Long for Idle Conversation

How a virtual cup brews a real desire to talk.
February 20, 2020 9:26 AM by Henry Stenhouse

There's something special about idle conversation, especially with a stranger. I’m usually a fairly shy person, but some of my favourite evenings have been spent in bars while on holiday, chatting with other patrons or the bartender - people that I’ll likely never meet again.

There’s something very liberating about it; No pressures to form friendships or fears that the shopkeeper I see each day will think I’m a bit weird. You can just talk, meaningless or not.

Toge Productions’ Coffee Talk is the purest essence of this. Set in a midnight coffee bar, your clientele are an unlikely mix from all walks of fantasy life, or in the case of some, undeath. One night might be spent chatting with an ex-military werewolf who works as a hospital administrator; the next, listening to a pop star catgirl explain how she’s struggling to reach a new stage in her career.

© Toge Productions

The patrons of Coffee Talk don’t have much in common, and outside of this small bar, they’d likely never socialize. However, the differences that keep them separate out in the world only serve to make their discussions all the more interesting.

Each has a different history, and unique experience and view of the world, but they all come to the same small bar in the late hours of the night. That release I talked about? Coffee Talk’s customers understand this.

They come to relieve stress about their work, their lives, and relationships, knowing that even if the anxieties they air leave the room, they’ll only do so into social groups they’ll likely never cross elsewhere. Friendships certainly form, but by and large they stay within the confines of the four walls they were made in.

Anyone who’s been known to regulars at a pub or bar will likely understand the feeling, and Coffee Talk captures it perfectly.

© Toge Productions

It’s not just bar talk, though. As someone who works from home, I’ve surprised myself with just how nostalgic I can be at times for the benign aspects of office life. Conversations in the kitchen, the famous water-cooler talk, or the chance for a short tea break with a colleague. Somehow, this short indie game brings memories of these forgettable moments to the fore.

Like Coffee Talk’s late-night meetings, these fleeting social gatherings rarely last more than five minutes. In the grand scheme of things, they’re meaningless. Yet the chance for human interaction - even without anything of value said - is a valuable commodity. One we often take for granted. Perhaps that’s why I find Coffee Talk so soothing.

Even when it’s between an orc, a mermaid and a werewolf, the conversations in this pixelated retreat feel real. Or at least, real enough for someone like me. Coffee Talk is a lovely little virtual escape, but also a reminder to get out there and start some conversations from time to time.