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Free Game Friday: Robin

Not only is Friday a day to celebrate the oncoming weekend, get a takeaway and go out for a couple of bevvies with your friends and family, for us here at GameSpew it’s time for #FreeGameFriday. That’s right Spewers; it’s the best day of the week.

Since your usual host Emily is busy being… well, busy, I’m stepping in to fill her #FreeGameFriday shoes. And the game I want to talk about is one that is fairly close to my heart. It’s a game called Robin, one which I only became aware of earlier this week. Calling Robin a “game” is a bit of a stretch as it’s a very simple experience, but for me it’s a very important one. Robin attempts to explain what it’s like to suffer with the chronic illness ME/CFS – which, as a sufferer myself, is a very bold thing to try and illustrate.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.), more commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a real, debilitating illness, but one that still remains a mystery to the majority of medical professionals. If even doctors can’t understand it, then trying to explain what it’s like to someone who has never experienced it is an absolute minefield.

Robin 2

Robin only takes about 10 minutes to complete, but those 10 minutes are filled with a very important message. Taking control of young ME sufferer Robin, the game opens up with a dialogue between her and a doctor; a dialogue that’s instantly and bittersweetly familiar to anyone who has ever been given this diagnosis.

Once you are given control of Robin, your job is to survive a three-day weekend where Robin wants to relax and recover from her hard week at work. Still, there’s always things to be done around the house, and it’s up to you to balance her tasks against her tiredness meter – which fills up very quickly.

To someone with no knowledge of ME, Robin may seem like a pointlessly short game with no real aim. But for anyone with the illness, or anyone who knows people with it, you’ll appreciate how well Robin‘s developers have tried to portray the delicate balance of time management. Washing the dishes can feel like running a marathon, and simply picking up a bit of laundry from the floor can leave you exhausted.

Whilst basic and simple, I applaud Robin for what it tries – and succeeds – to do. For anyone dealing with the illness, any kind of understanding or empathy is always well-received. And for anyone with friends and family dealing with chronic fatigue, I implore you to put aside five or ten minutes to give Robin a try, even just for an ounce of understanding of what life with ME can be like.

Play Robin for free by clicking here

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