The Mental Health Inspired Video Game Urging Us To Re-examine Our Belief Systems
We all exist on the anxiety spectrum, and on occasion, an anxious response can also be immensely useful in helping us prepare, survive, or even thrive.
However, anyone who has experienced a heightened form of anxiety - manifest in the form of a panic attack, generalized anxiety, or compulsive behaviour, knows that the condition can become debilitating and paralyzing. While anxiety and mental strain seems to be a common ordeal, we all find ourselves strained under the pressure of maintaining a work and life balance, it’s vital that we don’t ignore signs of mental burnout and psychological distress.
For almost all of his life, Anuj Malhotra has felt traces of anxiety but he witnessed the first signs of aggressive OCD in March 2020 after a set of circumstances colluded to push him over the threshold, so to say.
Deciding to take a step back and undergoing a recovery period of immense learning, personal reflection and discovery helped him gain a newfound awareness of the hardships that psychological ailments can pose to be.
Aiming to tackle the area of mental health in a meaningful and impactful way, Anug Malhotra has come up with ‘The Serpent of a Thousand Coils’, a new game-universe essentially built for science gallery Bangalore’s new season of programmes, entitled ‘Psyche’ which provides its player with a primer into the internal mindscape of an anxiety sufferer.
The game exhibit will remain online until June 10, and open to the public. It is a project calibrated to enrich and expand through genuine public participation.
‘The Serpent of a Thousand Coils’ lays its inquisition upon the player of the game by posing to them a series of questions, each of which has two possible answers. The extent and the speed of the progress the player makes within the game depend on the answer they choose. This exists as a literal expression of anxiety and how it manifests in our day-to-day, lived realities: as a series of obsessive thoughts, what-if spirals and doom declarations that are afloat over our heads.
In order to clearly emphasize this adjacent, almost parallel nature of the realm within which anxiety exists in our lives, it was essential that we build a world within the game that is rich in sensorial stimulation, sonic density, and visible triggers.’
Find out more about the game here.