Originally published at: STAY - Headshots: The Psychology and Gaming Podcast

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#46: Kelli and Josué discuss STAY, a pixel-art adventure game whose protagonist Quinn is a therapist that has been abducted. You play as the only person who can communicate with and help Quinn. The game deals with mental health issues and you can constantly monitor Quinn’s mood, his trust of you, and your bonding with him.

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There were two more things that I wanted to mention and didn’t get a chance to:

Papo & Yo: STAY reminded me of Papo y Yo in a few ways. First, Papo also includes a hit and run as an important event that affects the main characters. In Papo we see it throughout the game, seeing more and more of it. Papo also deals with very important themes including addiction, child abuse, and guilt and shows them in a surreal way. You don’t realize what’s happening or what the symbolism until the end, or at least it isn’t confirmed until the end in Papo either. I’m curious if anyone else also sees a connection between these two games.

The other thing is that I had pitched a game idea to Kelli once about a game in which someone is either trapped or on some sort of mission, I don’t remember which, in which I could only see their location and their vitals and I would provide helpful information to help them get through the mission based on only that information. The potential of the mood, trust, and bonding reminded me of this concept a lot. The idea that with “emotional data” I could help someone navigate a situation.