A Video Game About Depression and Loneliness

July 30, 2014 | Sophie Weiner

In Prisoned, a new interactive narrative by German game developer Jakub Juszczak, you are a girl named Judy who is battling depression as she becomes an adult. The world of the game is both an escape and a trap; wandering through a stark landscape you are faced with bleak emotions and loneliness. Indie Statik described the uneasy familiarity of the game:

Still in alpha, the portion of Prisoned I walked through showed the stages of fear Judy goes through as she transitions to college. First, there’s the absolute terror of leaving behind a lifetime of lifelines, connections entrenched in your personality, people who shaped who you are. It transports you to a world where everything seems alien.

There’s a relative calm throughout Prisoned, the kind that makes it feel unnervingly quiet. Isolation is a distressing sensation. Everything in Prisoned’s world feels slightly out of touch, almost like a fiction Judy created to help her own self-esteem.

There is a pay-what-you-want trial version of the game available now, Prisoned‘s website promises much more to come. Jaszczak is currently seeking funding on Epocu. (Screenshot: Jakub Juszczak)