PTSD Project: Thoughts/Notes
For our first project in Temporary Expert, we chose subjects out of a bag. My subject was PTSD, which I was already interested in. I have sympathy for PTSD sufferers, and I try to approach my engagement with compassion. I'd like to steer this project away from sensationalizing the stories of trauma and mainstreaming back into normalcy. So I won't be expressing someone else's pain through my art. I do plan to explore the creation of a game/play device that serves a certain function. But the first read of that experience should be backstory agnostic.
Common symptoms of PTSD include anxiety, paranoia/jumpiness, nightmares, poor memory and loss of focus. In addition to that, loud, hectic or unfamiliar situations can trigger overwhelming sensitivity and loss of control. I would like to create an activity or game that can ameliorate some of that through mindfulness exercise and focused play.
I had read an article about a lab at UW that had made a VR game to relieve pain from burn victims. In that spirit I plan to make a simple, stress-free, non-competitive achievement game for patients to play in the waiting room at clinics and VA hospitals.
Some gameplay, head space and visual influences are: