Asylum Jam Challenges Developers to Create Horror Games That Do Not Stigmatize the Mentally Ill

Modern television shows, movies, and even video games tend to use mental illness in a negative way when it comes to the horror genre. This portrayal of those who suffer from mental illnesses as potential, uncontrollable monsters inspired this article on Kotaku ("Nobody Wins When Horror Games Stigmatize Mental Illness") urging game developers to help reduce the stigma of mental illness by not using those with problems as vehicles for uncontrollable violence.

This article in turn helped inspire the Asylum Jam, a game developer jam that challenges participants with creating a horror-themed game that does not offer negative depictions of mental illness. From the Asylum Jam's web site:

"You should not use asylums, psychiatric institutes, medical professionals or violent/antipathic/'insane' patients as settings or triggers," the rules state. "This jam is to show that you can still create a great horror experience without using inaccurate stereotypes of those who suffer from mental illness, or the institutions that support them in diagnosis and recovery."

The 48-hour game jam will run from Oct. 11 – 13.

You can find some interim information on the event at asylumjam.tumblr.com.

Source: Polygon

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