[Two players.] INPATIENT, here is what you know: * Your mind is a wound, grievous and profane. * You must become a tourniquet. HOSPITAL, when INPATIENT approaches an Inquisitor (psychiatrist, orderly, or otherwise) for help with their symptoms, portray the Inquisitor and its lair: gleeful, mazelike, ceremonious, gnashing, weeping, spine-laden, phantasmagoric, booooorrred!!, or otherwise. Have it prescribe a treatment: * "Spin your afflictions into finery." * "Arrange your brain meat like a pretty bouquet." * "Swallow the worm of absolution at the meds window in plain view." * "Swap neuroses with a fellow patient." * "Grind a prickly memory to powder, then blow." * "Just exercise! ...in the Maceration Chamber, of course." INPATIENT, describe how you obey the prescription and flip a coin. * Heads: The treatment nearly maims you, but somehow you make it useful. How? * Tails: It maims you, but you learn to love something about your mind. What? Your symptoms manifest daily. Seek help from Inquisitors. HOSPITAL, once INPATIENT has obeyed five prescriptions, say their insurance coverage has expired and depict the Discharge Process. INPATIENT, you come home to your dingy flat in throbbing Ten-Temper Town, to all your adoring cats. Feed them. Hold them. Are you a tourniquet yet? What do you want to be?
Not every psychiatric clinician is a spine-laden nightmare — I’m sure some of them are lovely “people”! I designed this game after a traumatic stay in a mental ward, so my mind was alight with uncharitable imagery. lol
I tried to strike a balance here between sardonicism and hope, wry humor and horror. It’s the first game I’ve designed and I’d be delighted to hear any thoughts you have.
Thanks to Bethany, Mekael, Nel, and Tali for feedback. And reader, may you find something to love about your own mind. ♡