Mental Hell Blade
Gotta' be said, Hellblade is shaping up to be one of my most anticipated games in a very, very long time. Which is saying something, because I only rarely allow myself to really get caught up in the hype around a game. In fact, I never do, but I do occasionally allow myself a degree of fanboyish fixation every once in a blue moon. The kind of eagerness where I tear myself apart trying to decide if I want to track down every tidbit of information, of deny it all from my life to leave my experience unsullied. Now having learned that Hellblade's narrative focuses around the exploration of poor mental health...yeah. A subject integrally tied to my day to life for more reasons than one.
Specifically, the focus is around people who suffer auditory hallucination. Or people who hear voices, if you prefer. Which is an extremely distressing condition that leads people to act extremely irrationally, as they grow increasingly confused about what is, and is not, real. It's a common symptom of paranoid schizophrenia, one of the most debilitating and highly stigmatised mental health disorders in the world today. One which very, very few people are willing to tackle precisely because of how emotive the condition has become.
The potential for this game, if done correctly, to really make a lasting change to societal perceptions of those less fortunate is staggering. And for that reason, if no other, Hellblade is a game that must now be given serious consideration not only as a game, but for what it could do in the world at large. Keep a very, very close eye on this one guys.