A game prototype that explores the connection between passion, depression, and awareness.
Elude explores the complex landscape of mood by creating a metaphorical gaming experience. The goal is to raise awareness and understanding among the friends and family members of those who suffer from clinical depression.
The Singapore-MIT GameLab created this game prototype in the summer of 2010. The lab is an ongoing collaboration between Singapore’s higher education institutions and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. Together they’ve produced dozens of game prototypes to answer academic and game design related questions.
Elude was created to elaborate on the deeper effects of depression that someone might face. The game hopes to dispel the view that depression is simply “sadness”, but rather a more complex feeling of universal hopelessness and a failure to connect with the outside world. Through a metaphorical model of experience, Elude shows the player how the rise and fall in mood states can be experienced and changed through different perspectives.
Mood is portrayed in several ways in Elude. The outset of the game takes place in a forest meant to represent a neutral mood. The goal in this state is to climb trees and “resonate” with different passions, represented by ideas and colorful birds. As your mood rises and you resonate more with your passions, you eventually make it to the treetops and are flying through the sky. Happiness is an entirely different gameplay experience that challenges players to keep soaring upward. Eventually, your mood drops, and you fall through the sky, and literally dragged down into the depths of the earth by your depression. You must make it through and fight your way back to the top to find where you true passions lie.
National Research Foundation (Singapore), Media Development Authority (Singapore), Interactive Digital Media Research and Development Programme Office, (Singapore)