It’s for the Best is an experiential complement to the short film Add It Up and aims to make the psychological addiction to ADD medication and feelings of self-doubt associated with the disorder emotionally tangible to players.
The game does not propose that medication per se is bad, but aims to raise awareness for how the need for medication and the struggle with ADD can make you feel. According to the experience of our subject matter expert for this piece, ADD is usually considered ‘not a big deal’ as far as mental health issues go (at least compared to e.g. depression, psychosis or anorexia). This under-acknowledges the troubling feelings of worthlessness ADD can bring with it. By allowing the player to experience these feelings, the game aims to create empathy and hopes to promote a mindful way of communicating the need for medication to ADD patients.
In It’s for the Best players try to keep up with assignments represented by papers that flutter onto the screen with increasing speed. Clicking on papers makes them disappear. A pill is featured prominently in the middle of the screen. Choosing to click the pill clears the screen of papers and slows down their onslaught, but diminishes the experience of agency and self-reliance. The game is accompanied by unnerving whispers of ‘you’re not good enough’.
NOTE: this game does not have a win state. It is only a few minutes long and ends when the preset timer runs out. It is meant to be experienced, so don’t worry about whether you are doing it ‘right’, and just allow yourself to observe, engage and feel.
Special Instructions: This game is best played in Google Chrome and requires a mouse.
Controls: Use the mouse to click on objects in the game. Clicking the papers makes them disappear one by one. Clicking the pill gets rid of the papers much faster and slows down the onslaught for a short time.
- Joe Dean & JJ Bakken
- Jeremy Chambers & Hazel ‘Trouble’ Troost
- Joe Dean & Mike Murphy
- Doris C. Rusch