For the last few years, the indie game Dys4ia has been a staple go to for people trying to explain gender transition in an easily controlled, interactive and emotionally compelling manner. It’s a pretty well known game that does a decent job of easily conveying some of the struggles of a group of people. I’ve always been a little disappointed that there were not many other games to follow in that emotional, educational yet accessible vain. Today I found another game that lives up to what Dys4ia did so well, called I’m Positive.

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I’m Positive is a game about living with HIV, made of a collection of short, simple mini games, interactive images and text based dialogue trees. It’s easily approachable for gamers or non gamers, with interactions limited to moving a mouse, clicking, or holding down a single mouse button to repeat simple actions from life. From swiping a phone lock screen to throwing a basketball, I’m Positive is an incredibly accessible way to teach or learn about the realities of an HIV diagnosis and life after a positive test. It’s highly accessible, which not enough personal experiences told through video games are.

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The way I’m positive deals with the narrative of an HIV diagnosis acts as a really subtle way for people to get more information on the condition and misconceptions people may have about it. The carefully crafted dialogue options offer opportunities to explore, to learn and to discuss issues in relative safety. Ever wondered what options are available for people without health insurance in America to get HIV treatment? Ever wanted to understand the difference between HIV and Aids? Maybe you wanted to find out if life post diagnosis can include a healthy sex life? The game presents these answers with a level of abstraction that makes it really easy to find out more information without having to feel uncomfortable looking the facts up yourself.

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Most importantly however, I’m Positive follows someone on a journey from the awkward phone call from an HIV positive ex right up until treatment and life afterwards. It pays attention to the interpersonal moments, to the human reactions, to the emotions that can be rife during that period in life. It’s a wonderfully touching experience, all wrapped up in a set of informative facts and wonderfully simple interactions. I’m Positive is a really important game, one I really think more people should take 15 minutes to sit down and appreciate.

You can download I’m Positive for free HERE.

About The Author

Founding Member

Laura’s gaming journey began in the 90′s when she was given a SNES by her older brother with Mario paint. From that day video games were all she thought about day or night, be it playing them, designing them, discussing them or writing about them. Why does she want to write about indie games? Because indie devs are awesome and she wants to be their new best friend by telling them how terrible their games are. That’s how it works right? Twitter: @LauraKBuzz Email:

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  • This looks interesting although I’m not sure how much something like this needs to be gamified. Sometimes just going through the motions is all that’s needed to separate a game from a video or read. It lends a dimension of physicality to an experience. Dialog trees leave you wondering what content you’ve missed, which can lead to unpleasant anxiety.

    Still I’m worried about games in the 21st century. A game is media. Instead of downloading dubious/labor intensive ZIP files, games need to get to where video and movies are at/have been for a while now: compressed and not executables and not archives, media formats that can just be opened like a document, or better if possible (because of performance reasons) just streamed within the browser, or if a file a small one that initiates a client side streaming experience. What if to go onto a website you had to download the entire thing first? How many websites would visit? Does a game really belong in the Windows Start menu?

  • Gleidyz

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