Video Game Lets Healthy Users Experience Alzheimer's

the Psychiatry Advisor take:

A recently designed video game makes it possible for people who do not have Alzheimer’s disease to better understand what it is like to live with the condition.

Designed by Alexander Tarvet, a student studying game design and production management at Abertaty University  in Dundee, Scotland, the purpose of Forget-Me-Knot is to increase awareness of dementia.

“Through playing Forget-Me-Knot the player gets an immediate sense of the confusion the character feels,” Tarvet tells MOTD. “The player is in exactly the same position as the person with Alzheimer's — both have to explore the room and try and piece together an understanding of photos and letters through clues left on shelves and in drawers.”

During the game, the player moves around the living room, and is able to open up drawers, look at photos and pick up objects. In a demo video, the player is seen reading a message on a sheet of paper on the typewriter who then picks up a pill bottle on a coffee table, and looks it it closely. It contains the drug donepezil (Namenda).

“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,” Tarvor noted.

View a video of the game here.

Video Game Lets Healthy Users Experience Alzheimer's
Video Game Lets Healthy Users Experience Alzheimer's

You're standing in a living room. It might be your living room. Something's not quite right — for every object you recognize, there's another you don't. Normally, if you get this feeling while playing a video game, you're in the middle of a horror, awaiting the inevitable jump scare. In Forget-Me-Knot, however, you aren't evading an enemy, but instead trying to piece together memories of a life that, thanks to Alzheimer's disease, you barely remember.

Developed by Alexander Tarvet, a student studying Game Design and Production Management at Abertay University in Dundee, Scotland, Forget-Me-Knot is designed to raise awareness for those suffering with dementia. "Through playing Forget-Me-Knot the player gets an immediate sense of the confusion the character feels," Tarvet tells MOTD. "The player is in exactly the same position as the person with Alzheimer's — both have to explore the room and try and piece together an understanding of photos and letters through clues left on shelves and in drawers."

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