Inpatient: A Psychiatric Story

by Alana Zablocki

Mental Health System, Educational

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Number of Reviews: 4
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Premise seems to be overly concentrated/biased, July 20, 2017

I read some of the novel, and it felt somewhat intrusive in that I was being told how to feel rather than contextualizing the experience for myself—which immediately made me think that the arguments presented in the novel are one-sided and biased. The realities of going to the hospital are not pleasant. Often there is a negative connotation attached to the experience long before a patient enters the building, and no amount of care will change this feeling. From what I read, it felt like a concentrated dose of negative experiences which I don’t believe is reasonable nor representative of a single visit.

No system is perfect, but I feel that this portrayal is unfair to the Ontario health care system. People in this industry dedicate their lives to help patients because they believe in the work that they do. In reality, we should feel privileged for the access to services that are offered through OHIP and other social assistance programs—a luxury that our closest neighbouring country struggles to hold onto.

In summation, the premise of this work is focused on a first world concern in a fairly generous socialist system relative to other societies the world over. What is more, one person’s interpretation of a service environment is not representative of an entire system being broken or in crisis; take caution when absorbing media that advertise it as such.


An active user of public sponsored mental health care services in Ontario

Note: this rating is not included in the game's average.

Comments on this review

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theworldisastage, March 10, 2022 - Reply
I come from BC and even over here we've heard about how bad the Ontario HC system is, especially for mental health. I presume there's some bias in your review as well.

By the way, even here in BC we have horrible wards, including rats running free in one (St. Paul's Hospital).

With all due respect, I think someone else's experience isn't necessarily something you should invalidate.
TempleCat, September 14, 2017 - Reply
With respect, I do not think this review is a fair representation of the game. You get to have a lot of positive interactions, and some of the staff are more helpful to you than others. (Which is true to life.) At one point in my playthrough my choices caused a staff member to be harsh with me, but I could understand why the staff person was concerned and had to intervene. I didn't like the way the staff person treated me, but the game allowed me to empathize with staff who have to deal with difficult patient behaviour.

The protagonist is not perfect and the other patients aren't either, so I did not find the game one-sided except in the sense that you play as a patient and not a staff person. I found the relationship choices rich and textured, and enjoyed making difficult decisions about how to deal with problems other patients were creating. I.e., the psychiatric system is not presented as the only, or even the largest, problem to deal with in this game. You get to navigate it, which is tricky, but you work with rather than against it.
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