Hellblade: A Journey of the Mind, in Collaboration with Cambridge Neuroscience

Image for Hellblade: A Journey of the Mind, in Collaboration with Cambridge Neuroscience

Ninja Theory led a special event at Clare College on Tuesday 9th April, Hellblade: A Journey of the Mind, in Collaboration with Cambridge Neuroscience in advance of the release of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2.

The event opened with some powerful words from Eddy, a peer support worker for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, and a person living with psychosis. Discussing Hellblade, Eddy said the way Ninja Theory has “captured the experience of psychosis is nothing like I’ve ever seen before in terms of its realism and its fairness” to people like him.

Ninja Theory knew it was treading new ground for video games in 2017. Studio Head Dom Matthews said the release of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was an attempt to “reverse the tide of what had unfortunately been years of poor representation of mental health in games.”

The studio’s work has since been held up as a triumph in the representation of lived experience, having gone on to be used in academic teaching and a number of published papers.

Professor Paul Fletcher then led the first half of the event, giving helpful insight and context into how the human mind perceives reality.

A panel; consisting of two members of the Ninja Theory team (Ninja Theory VFX Director, Mark Slater-Tunstill and Writer and Stage Director Lara Derham), two psychiatry professors (Paul Fletcher and Matthew Broome) and two health support workers (Eddy Maile and Emma Taylor ), led the remainder of the session – in which they discussed life with psychosis and how Ninja Theory have portrayed the condition in a way that is fair, accurate and understanding.

In Hellblade 2, Senua’s psychosis presents her with new challenges. Her journey was a solitary one in the first game, but the sequel sees Senua meet other characters – meaning players will be experiencing how psychosis makes a person feel when they have to evaluate their relationship with that person.

Ninja Theory has put a remarkable amount of care and responsibility into making Senua’s story a human one, and its representation of psychosis has resonated in a deeply powerful way with those who are impacted by it. The event ended with a reception where art, science and lived experience collided in the most natural of ways.

The event ‘Hellblade: A Journey of the Mind in Collaboration with Cambridge Neuroscience’ has been viewed more than 20,000 times in the last two weeks and you can watch the entire event here.

Senua’s journey continues with the release of Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 on May 21st on Xbox, PC and Game Pass.

You can read more about this interesting collaboration here.

Cambridge Neuroscience is honoured to be involved in this collaboration.

Adapted from Xboxera

Posted on 23/04/2024