I played Spent (http://playspent.org/) and it opened up my eyes to things I have never thought of before. It helped me see through the eyes of a person struggling to provide basic needs to his family such as health care, and food. By making the decisions as if I was that person, I was able to understand how privileged we are that our parents have been able to provide for us, and how other people out there are in situation like these. To these poor people, every decision can have a huge impact on their lives. For example, while I was playing the game, I simply talked to a guy who was doing a strike in front of the place I work in, and I was immediately fired. One simple decision, created a chaos for me through the game. I couldn’t find another job, which made it impossible for me to get any money every month like I used to do. One part of the game that really irritated me is that at the half end of the game, I only had 100 $ and my Mom had to go to the hospital for 100 $ and I could not help her or do anything for her, so I had to refuse. Also, there was another part of the game that showed how when I gradually couldn’t pay for my son simple stuff like lunch money, the kids in his school started to bully him. These simple acts like not giving him extra lunch money or paying for a gift for his friend’s birthday party eventually played a major role in the child psychologically, because he feels left out. One thing that I would do to make the game better, is that I would add the boy’s suffering too to be able to learn how his son has been affected as well.
Another game I played was the Syrian Refugees ( https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-32057601). This game was very emotional because you could see what a refugee feels like by making decisions for them. I played this game more than once, and I kept on failing at the end. However, that was when I chose to be female. At my last try, I chose to be a male and it worked out at the end. However, I had to sacrifice a lot of things along the way. I had to sacrifice people’s lives and hide from the police, and even pay all my money not to be killed. Yes, I arrived but I was penniless. This shows that refugees go through a lot and from the choices that I have chosen , I think that no matter what, their end result is either getting killed, stranded, or reaching without money which is very frustrating. Also, the fact that the only way I reached safely was when I was a male and not a female, shows how females might have it worse in the real world. Something that I have realized after playing it again, Is that it is similar to the reading we read about the war in Syria last class. Both are related, because they both show the inhumanity and life struggles that one has to go through in Syria and in leaving it too. I would improve the game by adding a background story to how she/he ended up going on the boat in order to understand the situation better.
Also, I played Depression quest (http://www.depressionquest.com/dqfinal.html#)
, which talks about someone who has depression and the stages that he goes through in acknowledging it. Unlike the other games, it does not really have an ending and is more like a day-to day story about how his life goes on a daily basis. It is clear that before he decided to go to therapy and take medicine , that he had difficulty sleeping and focusing on work in general. At the beginning, he would just look at the computer and his mind would go blank. However, after acknowledging what he has and going to therapy, ideas started going through his mind and he became more productive. Another thing I realized is the ideas that go through his mind whenever he is with his girlfriend or any of his friends. For example, he always thinks about how Alex would leave him if she saw the real him or if he told her that he has depression. However, later on you would find out that it was all in his mind and that she understood his situation and tried to help him. This made me think about depression and how irritating it must feel to have it. The man in the game has no energy to go out with his friends, always overthinks, and paranoid of what people think about him. I always thought depression was only about sadness but apparently it is more than that because it plays with your mental processes and hinders your attention and makes you feel bad about yourself every second of the day. After playing this game, I feel more sympathetic to people who have depression because now I understand how they think and what goes on inside their mind. One thing that I might add to the game, is an ending to what happened to the protagonist at the end, after going to therapy and taking the medication, or maybe a look to the future (after 5 years).
In The game Peer-destruction, ( https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HYmijh0HYM2blrnyHtbwQeje85VnvQ0K4RKxocaVhSY/edit#slide=id.g55a4c4be57_0_5) about body shaming, I chose to be the over-weight girl who took her fit friend to get a wedding dress. However, when I arrived, I was basically told I was too fat, and because of how hurt I felt, I decided to stay home and go to the gym. I realized that, that was not a good decision to make because it just proved everyone right. Nowadays, people feel body shaming all over the world, and that just increases a person’s depression. While playing the game, I was put in the shoes of a fat person, and that made me understand how hard it is to live in this world as one. She was thinking of committing suicide, and even became depressed at the end, which bring us back to the depression quest game and the whole cycle of depression. All of this just because she is a little different or overweight than fit girls? I think that it is a cruel thing to do. I understood the consequences of such shaming by being able to know what she was thinking when people all around her started calling her “fat” . The worst part was that even her mom told her not to go to the wedding and that it was for the best just because she was “fat.” I personally, have seen this growing up. My brother was very fat at first and people would bully him and talk badly about him, just because of his appearance. This is why I understand that overweight people in general are not treated like normal human beings. The only time they stopped these hurtful actions was when he decided to become fit. Their actions made him want to become thin, in order to fit in with the others. One suggestion that I might add to improve the game would be to show what she ended up doing at the end. For example, did she commit suicide? Or did she go into depression? Or got thin at the end?
In the Game Living,(https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeDhVDLFkExaAKl_Ym_uJD1pcjl4Y-_wP45pcocZjqn5SunZg/viewform), you are put in the position of a stray innocent dog whose mother got shot. This is the first game that I have been put in the animal’s shoes which is why I found it impressive. It is very sad that in this world, we treat animals in such ways. This game made me realize that dogs and animals in general feel sadness like humans do and should be cherished and loved. By making the decisions of a stray dog, I understood his suffering and I understood how it would feel to find someone to be nice to him. Something similar happened to me, while I was in the streets, I saw someone running after a dog who simply just wanted to eat from the trash, because he was hungry. A woman passed by and got afraid from the dog, but the dog did not even touch her or look at her. He was busy eating, and despite that, he got shot for simply being there. I felt bad that this is a life of an animal and that he has to go through that in a daily basis. On the other hand, in order to improve the game, I would have showed more options, where humans ended up caring for the dog to show the comparison.
Finally, in the game Bury me, my love (https://burymemylove.arte.tv/prologue) I played the role of a man whose wife was saving the people from a bombing in Syria. Honestly, the game was very boring, especially since there were many inconvenient details that were in the middle that could have been skipped. However, the specifics of how the people were injured in the bombings and the suffering that Nour (his wife) has been through made me feel sad for their way of living. Nour has already lost so many of her family in bombings, which show that this is what happens frequently where they live. What I have learned from this game is the feeling that they have to go through every day, that something might happen to them or their loved ones. Personally, I have never been put in such suffering in my life, so to be able to play a game that taught me that feeling of the absence of safety in my own home has not only taught me to appreciate what I have but also to be more sympathetic towards these people and try to help them. Nour at the end had to leave her own husband and country to go to Europe, in hope to live a better life. One suggestion for improving the game is to create more visuals for people sympathize more with the story.
Regarding the 6 games that I played some of them were related to one another, in a way. For example, the game Peer-destruction, and the Depression Quest are related to each other in a way. It was shown in the game that due to the way overweighted people are treated they eventually go through Depression, which is a cycle that is explained in the Depression Quest, which shows that they lead to each other. As for Syrian Refugee, and Bury me, My Love, they both show the inhumanity and destruction that Syria has been going through for years. They both show that the situation is very hard that they had to leave the country to get a better life. However, Syrian Refugee continues the story of what happens after you leave the country as a refugee, which is a very bad experience as well. This shows how unfair their life has become. Finally, the game Living and Spent might seem very different but they go through the same principles of how cruel the world is. Even though Living talks about how brutal life is to a stranded dog, it is similar to Spent in a way that every decision that they make can change their whole life. For example, in Spent, doing one wrong thing cost him his job and in Living, speaking to a stranger cost him his mother’s life. Therefore, I see that even though they are different stories, it shows the suffering that they have to go through every day, due to the hardships in life.