​A Game That Helped Me Cope With A Family Member's Dementia

One of the conceits of adventure games that made them so strong in the 90s was their flexibility. By focusing on plot and puzzles, the range of subject material appropriate to cover expanded immensely. In that respect, Ether One is very much a 90s Adventure game.


As I talk about in the video above, Ether One does have very real flaws. For me that is not the point. Its pedigree is up there with games like The Cosmology of Kyoto and Papo & Yo — games that used their platform as a thought experiment for something deeply personal. Ether One is a game about dementia and about how much of who we are as people is contained within memory. Recently, a family member of mine has been grappling with dementia. If you've ever been in that position, you know what it is like to see someone you really love erode and deteriorate, how difficult it can be to bear.

Ether One made me feel something very real in a time of immense difficulty in my life. For that, I thank it.


To contact the author of this post, write to chrisperson@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter at @papapishu.

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IceCream Sarang

This is one of my greatest fears about growing old...becoming locked inside my own mind and not knowing what's real and what's not. As someone who was "Gaslighted", I know how horrifying it is to not trust your own memories. My grandfather was suffering from dementia at the end. Sometimes, it could be annoying...He called 911 frequently because there were people trying to get into the house. Other times, it was tragic...as we turned into the enemy...conversations that never happened...accusations for events that didn't exist. We lived in another state, so frequently his mind turned us into the villains. I empathize with your family, and hope they (and you) find comfort anyway you can.