22 April 2006


It's a video game created by Capcom, oddly enough. What really gets me is the mindfuck it delivers.

In a nutshell, Killer7 takes the player on a journey as a man with dissociative identity disorder, a little-understood mental complexity that manifests as multiple personalities. As I understand it, these alters were created by the government in order to manufacture an elite assassin: a man with seven personalities, each with specialized weapons training and each skilled in various forms of stealth operations, decoding, fighting, and killing. In the game the player can switch between personalities to best complete each task given. Pretty ingenious, really; original.

I'm just not sure what this means for the research being done for dissociative identity disorder. Will this game bring the seriousness of it to light? Or instead will it be looked upon as some kind of freakish anomaly? Everyone I know who has taken a semester of abnormal psych has at least skimmed through a chapter or two on dissociative disorders. It can be both confusing and fascinating to many. And there have been movies and such about the disorder: All About Eve, Sybil and even Fight Club. I think what might disconcert me most about this game and even to the extent of the aforementioned films is that characters with dissociative identity disorder are often depicted as having violent or murderous alters. Granted, in most documented cases there is at least one self-sabotaging or destructive part but it certainly doesn't necessarily mean homicidal. I'm worried that consumers might take these forms of media as truth and neglect researching the factual reality; as with many things, it can cause fear, hatred and discrimination.

Play the game...it might be fun. Just don't come away from it thinking that the symptoms shown therein have anything to do with a clinical case of dissociative identity disorder.

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