New Game Aims to Raise Awareness for Dementia

A new video game aims to raise awareness for dementia by putting the player in the place of someone living with the disease and then asking that player to piece together their life and understand who and where they are.New Game Aims to Raise Awareness for Dementia

The game is a unique way to fight the stigma that comes with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia while simultaneously raising awareness about the disease. Learn more about the young and innovative creator of the game and how mass media is contributing to the fight against Alzheimer’s.

A Student’s Gaming Project Raises Alzheimer’s Awareness

Alexander Tarvet is a student at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, who is making international headlines with his finals project, showcased at Sbertay’s Digital Graduate Show earlier this month.

Tarvet is enrolled in Abertay University’s Game Design and Production Management program, and is one of 170 students who submitted a project. His unique game, entitled “Forget-Me-Knot,” aims to raise awareness for people living with dementia.

The game puts the player in the position of someone fighting Alzheimer’s or a related form of dementia. Throughout the game, the player is trying to figure out who and where they are, walking through foggy rooms and looking through clues in each room.

In a press release, Tarvet said: “Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating condition for everyone affected and their loved ones, and through playing “Forget-Me-Knot,” the player gets an immediate sense of the confusion the character feels.”

He continues:

“Putting yourself into the shoes of the person with the disease gives a very immediate, visceral sense of how disorientating and terrifying it must be to live with long-term memory loss.”

Unique Ways to Raise Awareness and Reduce the Stigma of Alzheimer’s

While Tarvet’s video game concept is new and innovative, the idea of using media to combat the stigma behind Alzheimer’s is one that has been explored in the past.

As the Alzheimer’s epidemic presses forward with nearly 44 million people worldwide having the disease or a related dementia, the need to raise awareness, increase funding and erase the stigma associated with it becomes increasingly important.

Celebrities like Seth Rogen and his wife, are speaking out about how Alzheimer’s has affected their personal lives and are using their money and influence to raise awareness. In addition, a Facebook app went viral last year, allowing healthy users to understand what it may be like to live with dementia. The app, called FaceDementia, has the user’s personal profile which includes their videos, photos, friends and family, gradually disappear, giving users a unique insight into what it might be like to lose those precious memories.

It has not yet been determined if Tarvet’s game will be available for wide release, but for now, Tarvet has reached his goal of increasing awareness, with the game’s creation sparking an international conversation surrounding Alzheimer’s.

What do you think about using a video game to gain insight into the life of a person with dementia? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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Please leave your thoughts and comments

  • Michelle

    This is, imo, a very good idea. It will help raise awareness of this ilness and break the taboos that still linger.

  • Cyndi Ehrnstrom Maher

    A excellent concept

  • Wes Allen

    Having been the one to stay at home and watch both my grandparents through their stint with dementia I greatly appreciate what this game is trying to achieve, after My Nana Marie came down with dementia several years ago, My Grandfather Leon who was currently in the hospital for a heart problem was given an ultimatum… Either spend the rest of his days in the hospital because of his heart or undergo surgery to have a pacemaker put in at about 90 years old so that he could return home to care for his wife, My loving Nana. so of course he had the surgery and when he came out of anesthesia he too had developed dementia as a result. My nana Succumbed to the ailment and Died some few months later, while grandad kept chugging along for another 3 years forgetting quite often that his Beloved wife had passed and remembering all over again. In the latest year or so of his life he began to remember more and more and began to pray daily for god to take him to be with his wife in his lords loving embrace. anyway long story short I just wanted to share and tell you all that I understand your Love and your pain and am in fact quite familiar with it myself in this particular subject as well as to say that I Both approve of and appreciate any attempt to help people better understand this ailment and the effects it can bring into our lives.

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