Elude - Playing the Opposite of Play
The purpose of this presentation is twofold: First, to share with attendants the process and results of an exciting collaboration between video game design research and child psychiatry that fruited in Elude, the video game on depression. Second, to explore opportunities for use of specifically designed video games in mental health care.
For many, a video game on depression may seem impossible or at least intangible. After all, the opposite of play is not “work”; it is “depression”. Yet, application of video game design research with input from psychiatry culminated in Elude, a polished yet controversial video game prototype about depression that intends to make the feelings of this dangerous, mental illness experientially tangible. Such a game may make it possible for friends and relatives of people living with depression understand what their loved ones are going through.
The game approaches depression from a subjective point of view. It models the inner experiences during depression that seldom find a voice. Elude’s overall structure and mechanics were designed over the course of 2010 at Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab’s summer program by Doris C. Rusch with Atilla Ceranoglu as medical advisor who ensured clinical accuracy of the modeled system.
During the presentation, you will get a chance to see a demonstration of the finished game and learn about the development process, which included many hard decisions that balanced the developers’ desire for creative freedom with the necessity to keep the core vision in place and the game’s metaphors consistent. We will also explore further opportunities for Elude and other video games in the service of mental health counseling.