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Sabroso Shot #8 - ALZ

ALZ is a short online game I came across a number of years ago. It runs on Flash, so you'll need to enable that to play it (if you're using Chrome, you should be able to just right-click to enable it).

The game is beautiful in its simplicity. You play a man navigating a very pathway with glitching shapes, logical inconsistencies, and heart-breaking realisations.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to live with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, or any form of dementia. The effect on families can be devastating.

I'm not sure how realistic this portrayal is, but it strikes me as a very honest and poetic representation of what life with the illness might be like.

The game isn't indebted to any wider context than its creator 'Dylan' wanting to enter it into a competition on Newgrounds.com (an online-game site). As such, it hasn't been promoted particularly widely.

I always love things which explain what life is like for people suffering from a particular illness or communication problem.

This piece by my friend Dan Britton illustrates the experience of reading with dyslexia.

This video from Iluku shows what its like to experience auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) as a symptom of shizophrenia.

(Warning for that one: you need earphones, and it's very intense.)

What I love about all of these pieces is how they take something which is incredibly hard to understand, and put them in a format which goes some way to improving that understanding.

I'm fairly sure they're not perfect representations in every aspect (how could they be?) but their success is down to their taking something complicated and trying to make it a bit more accessible.

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