The Mad Ship is a game created with the association Gamaturgie. It talks about mental health, psychophobia (the kind of ableism specific to neuroatypic / mentay ill people) and mutual aid between Mad People. We play Jade, a young woman who just had a burn out, who is employed on a post ship as a gardener. This ship is inhabited by a community of mad people, who are organised to live and work according to their mental healths. During the game and by talking to the others characters, Jade will learn to listen to herself, to find a work pace that suits her, and to collaborate with the others.

This game represents characters who have different diagnoses and/or are neuroatypical, such as schizophrenic people, autistic people, people who have a borderline personality, or some who just identify as Mad. We have thought about the most common sterotypes about mentally disabled people, in order to avoid the mainstream demeaning and stigmatizing stereotypes. We tried to create varied and human representations.

In french, we use the term Fol (gender-neutral form of fou/folle) in a logic of turning a stigma into pride, as with the word Queer. For the majority it is an insult, but many neorudivergent/mentally ill people use it with pride, to remove its negative connotations. It is also used to have a word which is not a psychiatric diagnostic, which are not relevant for everyone. I don’t know if the word Mad has the same history in English. I chose it as it is used in the Mad Pride events.

My role

I did the images of the plants and the seeds, a big part of the dialogues, and a little bit of code (the saving system).


The game is available on the itch page of the association Gamaturgie (only in french) :