I Can’t Find The Words is a prototype created for Mia Consalvo’s Games and/as Research-Creation graduate class at Concordia University. It explores the research question: “Can certain established videogame mechanics (namely, navigating 2D game space and speaking with NPCs) be co-opted to create an effective metaphor for the social anxiety caused by living with a speech impediment?”
The prototype can be played for free, online, at itch.io.
The game approaches this question by presenting a high school environment that players must navigate while evading NPCs who wish to speak with them. As the game progresses, the protagonist will be unwilling to enter certain areas, forcing changes in navigation.
Created in GB Studio, I Can’t Find The Words co-opts graphics and backgrounds from Game Boy games (primarily Pokémon) in order to reinforce its retro aesthetic. As with all games created in GB Studio, I Can’t Find The Words can be exported as a functional Game Boy ROM.