Simple Video Game Simulates What It’s Like To Have Alzheimers
ALZ is a web game that depicts the crippling terror of the degenerative disease.
ALZ is a simple web game that lets players go through the daily life of a person with Alzheimer’s.
The object of the game is pretty simple. Players control a pink faceless man as he goes from place to place and encounters unfamiliar objects and people. The scenes shift and change, and the objects and people the man is faced with are depicted in shifting shapes and colors. In specific points players are prompted to press the space bar, which reveals the man’s thoughts and feelings. He asks questions like “What is it for?”, “Why is it even here?” and “Who was that?”.
The game’s graphics are simple and glitchy and designed to show what the world feels like to someone whose memory is failing. The game is accompanied with a melancholy tune on piano to further convey the experience.
The game was created by Dylan Carter, a student at University of Texas in Austin, for the Newgrounds Stencyl Jam 2014. Stencyl is a game creation software with a simple interface that is easy for those without any programming knowledge to use. According to a post on Animal New York, Carter has never coded a game before, but was able to create the game in four days.
Carter describes the game as “an experimental short film in ever-so-slightly interactive of a format.” He tells the game players to “Enjoy your walk. Interact with your surroundings. Or don’t. Have a forgotten, but hopefully not forgetful, experience.”