Not everyone thinks Adult Swim’s newest online videogame is all about fun.
“Based on game developer pitches,” Mystery Spokesperson said via email, “we choose those games that will appeal to our audience and are well-made. We always closely monitor games feedback on our message boards, and it has been positive to date.”
That may be an understatement. Players give the game a huge thumbs up.
Lord Kai writes: “Such a lovely little bout of insanity! There’s nothing better than flying from building to building with gravity on your side ... Rainbow world is fun, too.”
Hungryfreak writes: “This is the best game this site’s produced yet. Old-school platforming with gravitational twists and a side of insanity that makes for amazing style.”
Others rave about the higher levels of play.
But dissenting gamer LaceFX writes: “I have a close friend with paranoid schizophrenia ... and I can’t help but think, Why in the hell would anyone make a game out of a mental illness? It’s a nightmare for those who actually have it.”
Bell knows that firsthand. And she gets frustrated by alienating portrayals of people with her illness.
“When people are given the opportunity to consider mental illnesses within a believable context, the gap between ‘the crazies’ and ‘the normals’ suddenly becomes shorter,” she says.
But others with the illness see the game as harmless fun. On Schizophrenia.com’s support forums, Peter5 wrote: “I like it. I see that game as a good game to play for people with our disease. I didn’t see it offensive during the game but just a bit during the introduction, but for a very small part.”
So which is it? A fun game with a great user interface and thrilling play? Or another stigmatizing portrayal of people with severe mental illness?
I make it a policy not to comment on Funny or Offensive, but I’m going to end with Bell’s final thoughts on the matter: “I know we need clowns,” she says, “but maybe not so much when the tigers are in the cage.”
Lars doesn’t want to be there, every day, sitting in that chair, feet splayed out at an odd angle. But he can’t go anywhere until he gets a new wheelchair and he can’t get a new wheelchair until he has a job and he can’t get a job until he has a new wheelchair. Got that?