Hikikomori: Hideaway

An escape room representing the psychological state of a Hikikomori.

DATE

2019

CONTEXT

Created for Eddo Stern's Spring 2019 DMA 157 class.

MEDIUM

Unity

PEOPLE

Tina Wen  :  Game Designer

Hikikomori (引き籠もり) refers the people who shut themselves off from society, often staying in their houses for months on end. They are usually young adults or even older populations (15-59) who cannot take social and cultural pressure. There are at least half a million of them in Japan. The game asks the player to experience and try understanding the state of mind of a hikikomori through interacting with the space that he/she is the most familiar with, his/her own room. The game mechanics are based off of traditional room escape games, with the “room” as a metaphor for one’s psychological state. The clean, empty zen room reflects the secured, peaceful state of mind the hikikomori has when staying in the room. Nonetheless the reality is completely the opposite — a dirty, messy and dark room in which the protagonist watches animes and eat convenience store food all day long. The design focuses on the scene painting to create the mood of the environment, as well as pertinent writings that convey the emotions of the hikikomori.