Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has saved the life of at least one young man, according to the person’s mother.
If you haven’t picked up Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, you really owe it to yourself to grab a copy. It’s made by Ninja Theory, the same UK-based developers that came out with DmC: Devil May Cry a few years ago, and they use everything they learned from making that game to create another masterpiece in Senua’s Sacrifice.
It’s kind of a shame that 2017 was so overshadowed by Horizon: Zero Dawn that few other adventure games got nearly as much coverage.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice follows the adventure of the titular Senua, a Pict warrior (the tribe in what is today known as Scotland) who’s trying to rescue her fallen lover from Hel. That’s the Norse version of the afterlife for people who don’t get flown up to Valhalla for an eternity of drinking and barroom brawling. Hel isn’t quite like the Christian Hell, with the eternal torment and whatnot, but it’s still not a nice place.
To get said lover back she has to go defeat the Norse goddess Hela, which isn’t exactly easy. Along the way, Senua fights plenty of demons, both literal and figurative.
In fact, the figurative kind is probably more impactful. The game uses Senua’s descent into Hel as a metaphor for her struggle with psychosis, where she often hears voices in her head she calls “Furies”. In order to get the schizophrenic experience down, Ninja Theory worked with real sufferers of the condition as well as specialists and neuroscientists.
Apparently, Ninja Theory did a good job. According to Jessica, mother of two, it saved her young son’s life.
Thank you, @NinjaTheory, for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It saved my son’s life. After playing it through, he asked to go to the hospital for help. He couldn’t take everything he’d been dealing with & had a plan to kill himself. The game changed his plan. Thank you. ❤️— Jessica Prime (@FaerieGlamour) August 12, 2018
Jessica posted the brief story to her Twitter of how playing through Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice convinced her son not to take his own life. He apparently also suffers from some sort of psychosis, and after playing the game asked to be taken to the hospital for treatment. She had no idea he was even suicidal.
This heartwarming tale comes soon after Games for Change released their own short video showing how video games can be a force for good in the world, in stark contrast to what the current administration believes.