Traumi videoludici: la ricerca della stabilità emotiva in "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" e "The Town of Light" = Trauma in video games: Searching for emotional stability in "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" and "The Town of Light"


This paper adopts a multidisciplinary perspective involving cognitive psychology and game studies for the analysis of the representation of a specific emotional condition, post-traumatic psychosis, in the video games "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" (Ninja Theory 2017) and "The Town of Light" (LKA 2016). "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" was developed under the supervision of Paul Fletcher, a neuroscientist. It is a third-person adventure video game that recalls Norse mythology and focuses on the psychosis of the protagonist Senua, who is constantly struck by visual and auditory hallucinations while making her way up a path to the top of a mountain to resurrect her beloved boyfriend. "The Town of Light" was developed in Italy after years of research at the former Volterra asylum. In this first-person exploratory thriller, players control Renée, a woman who tries to shed light on her traumatic past by returning, as an adult, to the asylum where she had been locked up as a young girl. Despite the ludic differences between the two cases under examination, similar narrative paths and strategies are employed to represent post-traumatic psychosis and deal with the theme of trauma in video games, such as seeing the protagonists face their deepest fears to reach a stable emotional condition

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n17p295

Keywords: Trauma; Psychosis; User; Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice; The Town of Light

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