Failbetter Games' Machine Cares! is intended to help people who have lost a friend.
Failbetter Games, best known for its steampunk gothic story game Fallen London, has joined forces with ChildLine to create its latest venture: Facebook game Machine Cares!, an interactive tale about teen suicide. The intent is to help young people who may have lost a friend feel confident about sharing their worries and concerns with others, or with a service like ChildLine.
The plot concerns you, a new resident of the Tower, who has moved into an apartment previously owned by Jay. Jay killed himself before you arrived, and as you meet people who used to know Jay and learn what happened as they understand it, you begin to unravel Jay's sad story.
ChildLine hopes that people affected by any part of the story will contact them. "The subject of suicide can be a difficult matter to discuss," said Peter Lever, Director of ChildLine. "By reaching out to [people] through a story like Machine Cares! online, we hope that young people will see a way to contacting us where they hadn't before."
Failbetter founder Alexis Kennedy acknowledged that many don't feel comfortable seeking professional help, and hopes that Machine Cares! will change that. Failbetter encourages high school and college teachers to share Machine Cares! with pupils, as the game will probably be of most benefit to those 14 and older. Mature themes, including strong language, drug use and sexuality, will be part of the game's story.
Machine Cares! can be found here.