Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice
After listening to YouTube for about 30 minutes, James told me he had something he wanted me to hear from one of his gamers he followed, The Mighty Jingles. The particular game he wanted me to take note was mentioned on Mingles with Jingles, Episode 211. Mr. Jingles had reviewed Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice. [i]
This amazing game, I discovered, “is a cinematic psychological horror video game with action-adventure elements developed and published by Ninja Theory for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4”. [ii] The game is engrossed in Senua’s (Melina Juergens) point of view. The story follows her on a very intimate journey through a hellish underworld derived from Senua’s “psychotic manifestations of her reality and mind”. [iii]
Inside the Psychotic Brain
Wow! I have always wanted to show people into my brain and share the half-baked ideas that I am always concocting. The one thing with a mental illness, you think you are normal until you find out otherwise. There have been many a therapy session where I will bring something up just to see if other people think it, too. It can be very lonely in here.
I thought it was really cool to have a video game that was grounded in a reality of the mind that does not exist – but can be experienced and feels real by someone other than the thinker. What I understand is the developers of this game “consulted world-leading neuroscientists and non-profit organizations like Welcome Trust to properly capture the experience of psychosis and its devastating effects on the human mind.” iii For instance, if Senua has auditory hallucinations, the person playing the game will sense the same. To me that is fascinating.
Fighting stigma with video games?
My passion is to spread the word about mental illness and to tear down the barriers of stigma. There are so many times when I will start having auditory hallucinations. I can’t just describe it as hearing voices that aren’t there. There is a psychological piece that is missing. It is this psychological piece that has brought me to the point of wanting to run through a plate of glass from hearing all the voices. In order to break down the stigma, people need to be educated on what they do not know.
I believe the more tools we have in our arsenal to fight stigma, mental illness will be on the winning side. Having a game like this, will help many people to experience something they may have never experienced. It will level the playing field for people with schizophrenia, bipolar with psychotic features and people who also have schizoaffective disorder or even borderline personality disorder.
Have you heard about this game or have you played this game? What did you think of it? Realistic? Do you think this type of “tool” is a wise way to teach about mental health?
Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice can be found on Amazon. Please see link below.
Picture from Amazon.