FROM GAME TO REAL WORLD
One of our intentions in creating Nevermind is to bring awareness to the prevalence and breadth of psychological trauma and PTSD.
While all of the scenarios presented within Nevermind are fictional, many elements of the scenarios explored within the game touch upon realities that all too many of us deal with every day. They are painful. They are difficult to bear. They are isolating. And they are very real. The good news is that there are several invaluable resources and sources of support for almost any struggle that one may be going through.
If you are interested in learning more about some of the topics explored in Nevermind, we encourage you to please review the information below. While this, of course, does not represent an exhaustive list of all reference and support materials for each topic addressed within Nevermind, it is intended to provide an overview and a starting point for those who are interested in researching these areas further.
The word “trauma” is derived from the Greek term for “wound” and, as such, trauma can be seen as a psychological injury. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) are mental health diagnoses associated with reactions to traumatic events. Reactions to these events may vary considerably and may range from relatively minor disruptions in the person’s life to debilitating breaks. Other difficulties may simultaneously occur with mental health symptoms, including physical health problems.
Traumatic stress can be caused by shocking and emotionally overwhelming situations that may threaten (or involve actual) death, serious injury, or threat to physical integrity or safety of oneself or one’s loved ones. In most cases of psychological trauma, the event(s) were unexpected, the individual was unprepared at the time, and/or was powerless to prevent the situation. The individual’s experience of the event(s) is what determines whether or not it was traumatic, not the event(s) itself.
There are many treatments available for trauma, although no single treatment is effective for everyone and each individual may need to search for the best treatment for him/her/themselves. Some of the most common treatments involve evidence-based psychotherapy (individual, group, etc.) and medication.
To find out more about trauma, its study, and its treatments, please see the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and their website: www.istss.org. They have a specific area of their site for those who are specifically seeking a clinician specializing in trauma that can be located here: www.istss.org/find-a-clinician.aspx.
As each section discusses subject matter specific of to the narrative of each level within Nevermind, SPOILERS will be present in the sections below. We recommend completing the level in question within Nevermind before reading the section dedicated to its content. The journey of discovering the source and effects of each client’s traumatic event within the game provides a unique perspective and experience that may be compromised if the mystery is revealed ahead of time.
While the IntroSim is presented as a “simulation client” developed by the Neurostalgia Institute, the elements and effects of psychological trauma represented within the simulation are nonetheless very real. Themes of abandonment and child abuse are explored within the context of the popular fairytale “Hansel and Gretel.”
Client #251 investigates themes that include suicide and witnessing a traumatic event.
Client #418 investigates themes that include combat PTSD and substance abuse.
Client #440 investigates themes that include toxic stress and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Client #909 investigates themes that include domestic abuse and LGBTQ identity.