Mentor: Dan Frank
Connected is a simulation horror visual novel game that expresses the complicated and sometimes dangerous relationship many people have with their smartphones. Smartphones have their pros and their cons; however, many popular apps used on smartphones were built specifically to be addictive which can lead users to become too dependent on their smartphones. Excessive hours spent on a smartphone can lead people down dark paths toward mental health problems. This game is meant to show players just how easy it can be to fall into bad habits where monsters may sneak upon them. The monsters in the game are personified versions of depression and anxiety, which are two of the many ways people are affected when they have bad relationships with their smartphones. The purpose of this game is to create a medium where this information can reach its ideal audience and hopefully provide a wake-up call so that users can modify their habits and help themselves before things get too bad. At the end of the fellowship, the game will be published onto gaming platforms so that anyone with a computer can play it. If the project goes smoothly and finishes with extra time, I plan to create an accompanying booklet that will provide an in-depth analysis of the research regarding the effects our smartphones have on our mental health.