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"˜Shaded': Video games and Mental Health

We can’t deny the power that video games have over us in today’s society. When I call my friends and ask them if they want to hang out, they would rather sit in line outside of the local electronic store for hours in order to get their hands on the newest video game. That’s a testament to the influence that they have over us, but what do video games promote most of the time? They can be used for more than just killing zombies and stealing cars can’t they? Surely something that is such a powerful medium for people must have a way of getting a message across more than the superficial appeals of celebrity. This is where I came across a game called ‘Shaded’, which was developed by three boys (ages 13-16) who all have Asperger’s syndrome:

“We were inspired to create this game because we all have social disorders and wanted to make people think about them – it was a bit
self indulgent, but it became a really fun experience.”

The game takes a discarded drawing (‘Naked Edgar’), and introduces him to a world filled with different people who are suffering with mental health illnesses. And the best part is, that the more people this drawing meets, the more colorful his world becomes. It’s a testament to how awareness about mental health can lead to a better life for not just the person meeting the people, but also for the people affected by these illnesses.

The truth is there are a lot of games like this out there, games that really call attention to mental health and other societal issues. It’s really great to see a game like this receiving media attention, especially when the story behind it is so great. This is the kind of game I would wait hours to get my hands on.

Check out the article here.

-by Max