These Two Video Games Are Representing Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and two video games released earlier this year that deal with this sensitive and crucial topic have recent updates to be aware of. The first game, The Suicide of Rachel Foster, was recently made available to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamers, thereby sharing the game’s message to a wider audience. The second, Jessika, recently had a developer’s diary video published that details the issues faced bringing the story’s sensitive topic to life in a video game.
More importantly, these two video games do what video games have been increasingly getting better at doing, and that’s helping us acknowledge and deal with a great many of our society’s issues, especially the personal and historically (and mistakenly) hidden ones. In this appointed month of suicide awareness and prevention, hopefully these two video games draw your attention to the topic in case nothing else does.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster was released this February by developer ONE-O-ONE Games and publisher Daedelic Entertainment. Foster was initially released only for PC through Steam and GOG.com. Daedelic and ONE-O-ONE recently expanded the game’s player base by launching it on the PS4 and Xbox One for $19.99. In the game, we play as Nicole, a woman in 1993 Montana who has returned to the old once family-owned hotel in order to sell it after the death of her parents.
This event triggers memories of an event from her childhood at the hotel ten years ago, when she discovered that Rachel, another teenage girl, committed suicide, and that she was pregnant at the time she did it. Nicole soon stumbles onto a long-hidden mystery and sets out to investigate the case fully and try to repair some sins of the past.
Jessika was developed by Tritrie Games, published by Assemble Entertainment, and released in August of this year. The team recently published Jessika Featurette #3 to Assemble’s YouTube channel, the third in a developer diary series showcasing behind-the-scenes details of Jessika’s creation process. Jessika Featurette #3 features discussion from the development team about what was required for them to bring the subject of suicide into a video game. They also discussed how they used the game’s full-motion video (FMV) format to help spark certain emotions from its players, and how they used those emotions in order to get players to more deeply relate to the titular character Jessika.
In Jessika, you play as an investigator hired by Jessika’s father to delve into and find the truth out about her seemingly apparent suicide. Using only your character’s in-game laptop, you have to dig through Jessika’s expansive online digital presence to find the clues that will lead us to the truth of what really happened.
If suicide has affected you, or threatens to in any way, perhaps these video games may help you with what you need help with.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Suicide Prevention Resource Center
- National Alliance on Mental Health
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