My Name Is Addiction from Cleril Calamity Studios
An astute rendering of the first person perspective of a sex addict, My Name Is Addiction has you simply clicking through a linear path to experience the point of view of someone struggling to keep a grip on a semblance of the reality of who they once were and the onslaught of stimuli that have commandeered their thoughts.
The approach is surprisingly effective, and the language is eerily on point. Even saying so implies that I can personally relate, which, after experiencing this first person simulator, is now difficult to refute. This part of the game’s success.
A combination of texts, images, sound effects and score come together to immerse the player in the world of a person losing their grip on their prior self to one besot with the objectification of humans as tools for sexual arousal and climax. The problems are the diminishing returns and the resultant desperation to reconnect with something inside, someone, some time.
A mix of thumping club soundtracks, abstract images/flashing counter-images, text and the occasional branching text come together to tell the story of an 18-year old virgin who succumbed to sexual addiction via Internet exposure at the age of 14.
The protagonist is faced with the challenge of a true flesh and blood relationship. Should you tell her about your addiction? Should you not?
Into the Void
The experience does take a certain persistent frame of mind. It is essentially a clicker, a page-turner, and the end-user must in some way subscribe to the exercise of discovery, guilt, exploration. There are no side alleys, or escape hatches.
The experience then takes a strangely political turn. I don’t even know what to make of it – is it dogmatic – or am I still in the gestalt of my protagonist? There are odd religious overtones that may be off-putting to atheists and agnostics – or perhaps echoes of society with which the protagonist must contend; do they guide or propel further into the retreat of the addictive behavior? Meanwhile, the sexual jargon is convincing.
All told, My Name Is Addiction is a succinct and complex examination of the day-to-day for perhaps too many end-users. Do not come looking for a “game,” but rather an interactive experience, a psychological installation, as it were. Gibsonian flashes and impressions, suggesting further branches for contemplation. It unapologetically explores the path towards isolation and alienation as one contends with the alluring slippery slope of sexual objectification as a proxy for connection.
We live in a time where the dialogue, language and dynamic is necessarily changing, but the road is a long one to recovery. Any exercise that may engender a path towards empathetic consideration is a worthy expenditure of one’s time.
My Name Is Addiction is available via Steam and Itch.io.
Watch the official trailer for My Name Is Addiction below: