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The story is set in the early days of the Internet, in the era of dial-up modems and BBS boards. You shoot the breeze, harass idiots, engage in a bit of playful hacking, and even strike up a relationship with a user named "*Emilia". However, when BBS boards suddenly start going down one after another, cutting you off from the people you've met, it slowly becomes clear that a sinister force is threatening this brave new digital world.
See also don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story and Spiritual Successor Analogue: A Hate Story, both by the same author.
Digital: A Love Story contains examples of:
- Addressing the Player: You're asked for your full name at the beginning, just like a real computer would.
- ASCII Art: Or more properly, ANSI art, as befitting the setting.
- AI Is a Crapshoot
- Brand X: The computers used are "Amie", named after the popular real-world Amigas.
- Bilingual Bonus: Both "Amie" and "Amiga" are feminine forms of the word "friend", in French and Spanish, respectively.
- Bittersweet Ending
- Chekhov's Gun: Certain users have their handles start with an asterisk. All of them are artificial intelligences.
- Diegetic Interface: The entire game takes place on an Amie computer.
- Heroic Mime: You can't see any of your own messages, so it's on the player to intuit how their character responds to each post.
- Though you can see the titles from the messages your character has sent.
- At times, if you reply to certain users, they'll tell you off. Just what did your character say to them to piss them off?
- They could be over-reacting. Lots of people on the Internet do.
- Historical In-Joke: The Creeper and *Reaper viruses and their effects sound an awful lot like the Morris Worm. Those names, in addition, are of the first accepted computer worm, and the program that, at least apocryphally, wiped it out. Add in the fact that this game is set in 1988, and the joke is complete.
- Interface Screw: A buffer overflow causes this. If you don't upgrade your Amie Workbench before Delphi attacks you with one, your workbench will crash and you can't continue until you patch it.
- Painting the Medium: Early in the game, you can download an upgrade for the Amie Workbench. Applying it requires you to close the game and reopen your save file. The version number on the top will change when you do.
- Password Slot Machine: One part of the game has you crack a password with a simplified dictionary attack.
- Playful Hacker: Several users and eventually the player take this role. As the game's release page notes, advancing in the game requires you to commit telephone fraud, exploit a buffer overflow, and/or "hack the Gibson".
- Retraux: The interface is in the style of 80s computers.
- Shout-Out: Sector 001 BBS. As befitting a Star Trek-themed BBS, its phone number is 622-1701, which in telephone letters can be rendered as NCC-1701, the Enterprise's registry number.
- Another one is to one of the author's own games.
- Shown Their Work: The networks and history of viruses in this game are based on real-life information.
- Spock Speak: Paris speaks only in syntax.
- Thanking the Viewer
- Wham! Line: The emilia.core. This Reaper virus is suddenly much more dangerous than it appears.
- What Measure Is A Computer Program: The A Is.