ImagiNation: Understanding the Why

Why would I go to all this trouble to create this project? Isn’t it like rubbing salt into a wound? Isn’t it a lot of pressure? Why do this to yourself? Who would want to play such a thing?

I went to all this trouble to set up this project – and this is an idea that has been percolating for some time – because I think it can be useful. I know that me talking publicly about my mental problems has helped quite a few people. I know that lots of  people find it hard to talk about their mental issues or to describe them to others. I also know that a scarily large number of creative people suffer from depression or similar issues. I think it has the potential to help people, spread understanding and break the ice. Primarily though, I think it can be a fun an interesting game.

Yes, examining all this is going to be difficult for me. The pressure I’ve put on myself by making it crowdfunded is enormous and the amount some people have put in and the level of expectation they have is tremendous. I think it’s worth the pain though.

Who would want to play such a thing? People read books of surreal or mad imagery, Alice, Kraken, anything by Burroughs. People’s pain enhances their work and can make it gloriously engaging, at a cost to the creator. I’m not saying that I’m a genius or anything but at the heart of ImagiNation is the idea that there’s a price to be paid for power, for the ability to create or alter reality and that’s what part of being depressed is like. The ability for deep self reflection, for honing one’s craft through being insecure about it can lead to great things or at least an effort to make something as good as it can be. This is an up, not that it compensates for the down side, but it is there.

They say the internet leads people into over-sharing but I want to share something with you that may help you understand the why’s and wherefores of me and the project.

For quite a while now I’ve been going to CBT therapy (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) a lot of it doesn’t work for a sceptic or cynic like me but simply having someone to talk to has been of tremendous benefit, as have some of the mental exercises you go through. Support, of any kind, knowing you’re not alone is the most important thing whether that comes from friends, family or professionals – who you sometimes need so you don’t feel like a burden.

I’ve just come to the end of all that, sorting out my cocktail of drugs, getting – finally – to a state of mind where I don’t need to be supervised so much following a suicide attempt. I’m not cured, I’m just better. Able to cope and even if one does end up feeling ‘cured’, you’ve got to be watchful, vigilant, to be sure you don’t fall again. You’ve also got to judge constantly, daily almost, whether the effect of the drugs is better than the depression or vice versa.

A game where my failings, my vigilance, my choices are a strength, where my talents – such as they are – make a difference can only help. If it helps me, it can help other people. If the game can help other people and be something great, all the better.

The project is funded, but can be made better. Please do all you can help hit our stretch goals. Tell your friends about the project and ask those friends to tell their friends.

The IndieGoGo link is HERE.

The stretch goals are listed below. Yes, you can donate, even though it’s over the target.

  • At $2,200 the game will be professionally and fully edited.
  • At $2,500 I will write, alongside ImagiNation, a genericised and updated version of the rules-set which will be placed fully in the public domain.
  • At $3,000 the game will be completed in colour inside and out and available in both colour and B&W PoD.
  • At $3,500 I will make copies (so long as financially viable) available to mental health professionals for free.

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