In the context of the unfortunate death of the figure of YouTube, Etika and, on the occasion of the recent premiere of Sea of Solitude, we decided to review some video games that addresses the issue of mental health in a respectful , constructive way and entertaining, something that has a lot of value for an industry commonly noted for ennobling opposing topics, such as violence, aggression, isolation and, more recently, the famous addiction to video games.
Of course, not all games are bound to deal with the issue and, on occasions, the angle is so forced that it takes its toll on the playable values of the experience, but here are exponents who find an acceptable balance between message and quality in the experience. Certain adventures navigate the psychological waters in a calm and picturesque way, while others do it with a slightly more aggressive approach. And to you, what game have you done about mental health?
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice Powered by Ninja Theory, Hellblade is a magnificent action and adventure game that, below its lugubrious appearance and focus on combat, sends a message about psychosis and the effect that violence and the loss of a loved one have on a person. It is a very unique mixture of elements, but the result is an outstanding game, where the person who suffers from a mental condition, is also a hero of his own story.
Life is Strange Although this graphic adventure revolves more around conflicts of adolescence, decisions and crime, it also addresses the issue of suicide and the importance of relationships in mental health. In fact, it deliberately incorporates psychological assistance numbers in case of crisis. Prior to the premiere of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, Square Enix conducted a fundraising campaign to benefit an association to prevent suicide.
Sea of Solitude The premiere of This week, Sea of Solitude is an independent game that addresses the issue of personal crisis, loneliness and depression directly, through numerous analogies and metaphors, beautifully shaped in the form of a game. The mechanics of Sea of Solitude are somewhat monotonous, but the way in which Jo Mei transforms various concepts of mental health into playable elements is very valuable and the underlying message on how to procure and protect one’s emotional stability is also very important.
The Unfinished Swan On paper, The Unfinished Swan is a symbolic, picturesque and friendly adventure game that seems to evoke children’s stories but, deep down, tells the story of a grieving child, trying to make peace with his mother’s death.
That Dragon, Cancer As Sea of Solitude, That Dragon, Cancer is not a game about mental health explicitly, but it addresses all this from a specific situation. In Sea of Solitude is the family crisis and in That Dragon, Cancer is a fatal disease that triggers the portrait, remove successful, of all kinds of feelings: hope, vulnerability, despair, melancholy and mourning. All this through analogies and metaphorical figures very well implemented that make this an exceptional emotional journey.
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