Mental wounds need not be lethal, nor do they usually leave people a sputtering mess committed to a mental hospital. Instead they leave a sense of unease, tension, and underlying anxiety about the universe around us. What… if… what if that anxiety wasn’t completely unfounded? What if mental health trauma was a link to a universe or universes just outside our own? What if those universes wished to ultimately see our reality crushed and eliminated?
You’re half-way to understanding the goals and purposes of The Midnight World, by James Davey and Jim Beverly, which is currently on Kickstarter. Below are three reasons you should check out the game now.
1) Realistic Depictions of Mental Trauma
Trauma is not the end for most people. Trauma is the beginning of stress and worry. Anxiety becomes ever present, a frustrating companion of worry and concern. When that trauma triggers deep seated fear and stress and all of that becomes a mountain of overwhelming mud to crawl through and attempt to wade into… The Midnight World gets mental health, anxiety, and PTSD right. It presents these real world stresses in a way that is easy to grasp and is non-sensationalist or foolish. It portrays mental illness is a realistic way to allow you to quickly understand how such things effect those who suffer through these challenges. At the same time, the game system is so well crafted it makes this concept one that is therapeutic to work through, without being overwhelming or stress inducing. This is a game, but one that offers an honest glimpse into ourselves.
2) Horror Done Right
Like Mental Illness, horror is too easy to misrepresent in games. Horror is more than jump scares or vampires with bad accents. Horror is more than splatterpunk and gross out depictions of violence or any form. Horror is more personal than that. Horror is usually about a loss of control, a slipping away from the ability to take action and a sense of impending Dread. Until Midnight World the best game to simulate DREAD was named it. The Midnight World finds a similar mechanical way to increase dread, and the loss of control one finds as dread becomes all pervasive and overwhelming.
3) A World With Intriguing and Deep Concepts
The Midnight World is a deeply psychological horror game. While it’s possible to play monster of the week with the setting, the base concept is that the Dread Beings who created your initial trauma are returning for some unknown reason. They might be returning to recruit you into their army. They may be trying to snuff you out before you become a larger pain in their rear ends. They may simply be drawn to your essence, that sense of trauma that echoes against the walls of their Corpse Universe prisons. The base concepts of the universe of the Midnight World are quantum mechanics based, with the idea there is a multiverse of possible realities. What it takes to allow these places to exist is a fascinating reach into sci-fi and horror. The idea that reality is multidimensional and great beasts are hiding in the folds of that reality waiting to devour us whole… it’s fantastic and offers a lot of opportunity for deep introspection and a push back against nihilism and cosmism.
All of these are reasons I think you should back the Midnight World on Kickstarter now.
With 20+ years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C.
Art courtesy of The Midnight World
All blog materials created and developed by the staff here at High Level Games