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There aren't many games out there that focus on raising awareness of Alzheimer's, but Alz, a experimental game-slash-film, is a beautifully simple insight into the implications of the condition for both the sufferer and their loved ones.
The game is a simple walkthrough, in which players control of a faceless man whose surroundings glitch and flash in and out of focus as he attempts to make sense of the world. Bus journeys become insumountable obstacles and recognisable faces become strangers: his wife tells him she loves him and he simply refers to her as a "large something – what is it for, why is she here?"
Soundtracked with a beautiful piano piece by Broove, Alz was made using Stencyl, a drag and drop video game design software and is an entrant into an annual games contest on Newgrounds. You can play the game here.
This isn't the first time that there's been a crossover between Alzheimer's and video games. In January of this year Akili Interactive Labs Inc. (Akili) announced that it had entered into an agreement with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to test the ability of Akili's mobile video game platform, Project EVO, to detect cognitive differences in healthy elderly people at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Developers are hoping that the game could be used to help to identify early signs of Alzheimer's – dementia currently affects an estimated 44million people worldwide.
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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