External Links


My PseudoDementia Exhibition.zip
Contains My PseudoDementia Exhibition/My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition 1.0/My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition 1.0.html
Play this game in your Web browser. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition

by Naomi Norbez (call me Bez and he/they) profile

Autobiography
2023

(based on 7 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

a personal & public museum

If you want a swashbuckling adventure game, or exciting puzzles to solve, then I apologize, but this game doesn't have that. This Twine contains a museum, which consists of items notable to me during my long period of mental health recovery. I wanted to share my journey in some form or fashion, and this Twine is the result.

This game is a museum, so treat it as such. Peruse slowly. Stop and listen to the music. Linger on an exhibit that you like. Exit whenever you feel ready to. And do leave your name in the guestbook, won't you?

(P.S. I strongly recommend you download this game. The browser is not always the nicest to it in terms of loading pages & images.)

Content warning: This game explores my personal experience with a serious health crisis that affected me physically & mentally. I discuss my terrible mental health at the time, including my intense suicidal ideation & depression. See more in game.


Game Details


Awards

29th Place - 29th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2023)

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
(3)
4 star:
(3)
3 star:
(1)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A museum display of a non-fictional mental health journey , November 22, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game was good to read. Iíve known Bez for several years, and while I have not been able to be as helpful as some of his other friends, Iíve been able to watch his journey over time and follow along.

This is an interactive museum of Bezís experiences through several different locations, with one exhibit per living location. There are photos, transcribed documents, and music from several indie musicians, which sounds good.

The museum is a well-written and fascinating look into the life of one individual. It is frank and open about challenges like debilitating illnesses (the pseudo-dementia, for instance), suicidal thoughts and impulses, homelessness, unsupportive staff and family, and so on. The fascinating part is how relatable it is; this is a very specific life with considerations that arenít universally applicable, and yet for me the writing was relatable and approachable, and I could connect with it and consider similar challenges in my own life.

Itís not all challenges though. There are many successes and realizations and small happinesses mixed together with the hard times.

Bez has written solid games before with interesting mechanics, as well as interactive essays that are more limited in scope and linear. This game combines a lot of the best of both, with a non-fiction emphasis but with more ways to interact. Thereís no need to make autobiographical fiction Ďfuní, since itís just a story of life, but I think that the features like graphics, music, and navigation improve the reader experience and increase the connection between writer and reader.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
IFComp 2023: My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition, October 6, 2023
by Kastel
Related reviews: ifcomp2023

(cw: abuse from parents and institutions, mental health, suicide)

Bez realized he's having difficulty remembering things.

This made him feel like he wasn't in control of his life. After an unspecified traumatic incident ("my mother did something terrible to me (which I am not ready to discuss fully yet)"), he tried to end his life. He was sent the ER, later psych ward, and finally through several residential treatment facilities for a total of 14 months. During his time there, he learned that he was suffering from pseudodementia, a range of psychiatric conditions that results in symptoms similar to dementia but is thankfully reversible on treatment.

But 14 months is a long time. This game -- or shall I say, museum exhibition -- charts his time in these facilities as he struggles to recover from pseudodementia and the abuses of mental health institutions.

In lieu of memoir conventions where we simply read scenes like a novel, Bez has selected notebooks, a few photographs, rants scribbled on notebooks, young adult literature, and so on for all of us to see. They are mundane items, but they mean a lot to him. Each object has a powerful history that is detailed on the plaques. Unlike most museum exhibitions, the plaques offer a deluge of text and sometimes hyperlinks to a .txt file explaining the significance of the item to Bez. After we're done contemplating, we move onto the next room and read more text.

As we navigate through this curated history of objects, we learn that Bez was unable to return home after his time in residential care because his abusive father refused to allow him to return. He was reluctantly moved between different residential facilities and each exhibit room represents the length of time he spent in each one. Every step brings him closer to the "real world", but the facilities differ in quality. The first residential facility allowed Bez to connect with a neurologist who believed he had pseudodementia and even tried to accommodate his gender identity. The second consistently misgendered him. There are also different levels of care that he must undergo, resulting in limbo and long waits.

In return, stickers declaring his pronouns become more prominent on his notebooks and folders. More and more objects clarify and deepen his own understanding of who he is, but the end of the exhibition reminds us that there's still a long way to go: (Spoiler - click to show)"Recovery is not a destination you can reach; itís a mountain you can choose to climb."

After writing my thoughts on the guestbook, I thought I had little to say about this game. It was a sweet and poignant time capsule. But I kept returning to it because this autobiography has emotional weight. The objects have so much potency that they feel as important as the historical artifacts I've seen in museums; Bez's folders are just as compelling as a cannon recovered from the Battle of Waterloo. And like other exhibitions, this game has taught me about the inner workings of mental health institutions in the US and how patients are treated especially in regards to gender-affirming care. I really appreciate how honest Bez's depictions are.

And parts of the game resonate with me because my life changed after I contracted COVID-19. While I never suffered memory loss, I was (and still am) constantly tired and could only maintain a "normal" life by following certain routines. I 100% share Bez's thoughts on recovery.

My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition is a gorgeously personal exhibit that is worth visiting at least once. Although it deals with some painful subjects, it hugs you and reminds you to keep living beyond your doubts. And as you learn to recover, every object you interact with along the way is special and important -- you should take note of it.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

If you enjoyed My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition...

Related Games

People who like My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition also gave high ratings to these games:

VR Gambler, by Robert DeFord
Average member rating: (12 ratings)
You start at the entrance to the Gold Coast Casino's new Virtual Reality Gaming Room. There is a neon sign over the doorway that says: GO ON A VR ADVENTURE! WIN BIG! This parser-based game features puzzles, turn-based combat, leveling...

Opening Night, by David Batterham
Average member rating: (28 ratings)
You stepped off the streetcar moments ago, halting before the grand facade of the Marquis Theatre. You have come to see your idol, the Broadway star Miranda Lily, performing in all her dizzying glory. [blurb from IF Comp 2008]

On the Farm, by Lenny Pitts
Average member rating: (15 ratings)
"Visiting Grandma and Grandpa on the farm for the weekend is not your idea of a good time. Mom has told you countless stories about the great adventures she had growing up there. Days spent feeding the chickens and pigs, and riding the...

Suggest a game

Polls

The following polls include votes for My Pseudo-Dementia Exhibition:

Games that take place completely in museums by Andrew Schultz
IFComp 2023 had a couple, and they reminded me of another I tested in Shufflecomp. I like having the ability to leave when I want and see what I want. I'm looking specifically for ones with no winning or losing, and ones where you can...




This is version 5 of this page, edited by JTN on 4 October 2023 at 11:53am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page