Indie Game ‘Samantha Brown’ Takes On Social Anxiety
Game about social anxiety makes its point all too well.
One of the best things about indie gaming has always been its ability to address certain topics and issues that major video games would never dare touch. This is particularly true of major social issues that industry games tend to avoid like the plague. From Always Sometimes Monsters‘ take on depression and human nature to That Dragon Cancer‘s views on the toll that disease can take on everyone it encounters, there is a rich subsection of the indie industry devoted to taking on the toughest issues that affect our daily lives.
Now you can add The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne to that list.
Samantha Browne is a game about the titular character and her struggles with crippling social anxiety. What you’ll quickly discover while playing this game is that nearly every decision you make is wrong. Well…at least that’s the way your character perceives it. Due to her condition, Samantha looks at the simplest processes (like making oatmeal) as tremendous obstacles that can – and often do – lead to horrible worst-case scenario consequences.
Modeled after developer Andrea Ayres own struggles with social anxiety, Samantha Brown wisely removes entirely optimal paths to victory as to better relay the way the character’s anxiety affects nearly every decision, right or wrong. In that respect, this title plays out almost like a horror game. The intended sense of paranoia does indeed begin to set in as you fear nearly every decision until you become unsure of your own judgment.
Though a very short game – it can be beaten in well under an hour – Samantha Brown is an incredible look at this particular disorder and the way it impacts even the most simple of tasks. Anyone interested in trying the game can do so for free on Steam, Itch.io or the App Store.