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Experience Psychological Abuse in Deliriant

Games as an industry is still pretty young compared to the likes of movies or books. It’s still evolving and growing. And as an entertainment medium it usually falls fairly short in the story department. Especially in emotional storytelling. Don’t get me wrong I have played plenty of games that have great stories and probably deserve more credit then they get. But compared to other forms of entertainment, games are still playing catch up.

The last few years have seen an up surge in games that have emotional story telling. They are getting better every year in telling better stories in better ways. Especially in the indie department. 

Games such as Flower, Journey, and Abzu have been able to touch us on a deeper level. They are an experience unlike anything else. And then there are other games that are dealing with actual issues. Games such as Gone Home, Life is Strange, and That Dragon, Cancer are examples of recent games that are touching on subjects that, until recently, haven’t had a strong place in games.

The future of games is looking pretty bright. I think it’s going to be awhile but there are more and more games that touch on the human experience and storytelling is getting much better. 

Deliriant looks like it will fall into this category. It’s an interesting case. The game is made by a group of students at the University of Utah for their graduate game design program. They have created what they call an “Infinite empathy machine”. Diliriant takes place in a house straight during the 70’s. Judging from the pictures there is a bit of that vibe there. 

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As a mother you interact with various objects around the house that reflect on her feelings and what’s going on in her life. The house and the objects inside the house tell the story. The catch is she is also coping with constant psychological abuse. So instead of happy memories, things remind her of the abuse she has received. 

Where the abuse comes from is unclear but it is definitely coming from her home. So we get to see what’s like to live a life with psychological abuse even when the actual abuse isn’t happening. Just like in real life, people who go through a trauma relive those events even after it’s already happened. Sounds kind of heavy. 

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We’ll be able to see how well the story is conveyed on May 23rd. We’ll get to see if this game can touch on a serious subject in a practical way. We’ll see if it can make us reflect, to feel empathy. Part of me is kind of hoping it works. Either way I think it’s a pretty ambitious project and I’m interested to see how it turns out. 

What do you think of Deliriant? Will it live up to the expectations set forth? Are you going to get it?

Tags: Deliriant, Manic Interactive, playstation, psychological

5/10/2017 8:37:13 PM Christopher D. Anderson

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