Games have explored working as a sort of therapy before, but according to Atrax games this is not Sym‘s goal — it’s actually more for those trying to understand what social anxiety is like.

Sym is a puzzle-platformer that splits the screen between black and white, or reality and a world created by a teenage boy named Josh while trying to avoid his fears. The game has a very hectic look like it was drawn violently with a pen.

Sebastiano Morando, part of the two person team making Sym, said that he doesn’t believe games can be used as therapy, but that they can talk about it, much like other forms of art. Instead, he says it does pretty much the opposite.

“It’s designed to help players understand how someone with social anxiety feels,” Morando told Polygon. “The main way this could help people suffering from the disorder is by acknowledging that someone else has the same problem as you and identifying that you’re not alone.”


Sym will also contain a level editor when it releases on Steam that will allow players to share their own experiences and stories. That sounds like it could have some therapeutic benefits, despite whether the developers meant it to.

If you’re interested in Sym, a free demo is currently up on Steam, or you can read Polygon’s full interview with the development team here. It will be available sometime in March on PC and Mac, according to the Steam page. A Tweet by the Atrax Games Twitter account last year also said that an iOS, Android and Ouya version are also possible.

Source: Polygon

  • I don’t see what the hell this has to do with social anxiety. Seems like a marketing ploy to create buzz around the game to me. It clearly has a puzzle-platformer with a black and white inversion system going on. Somehow mathematics are involved.