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About the StoryAsh is an autobiographical story about the final days of life, and the loss of a parent.
16th Place - 22nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2016)
The Breakfast Review
"Ash" is an experience. It's the experience of death, of waiting for a parent to die, and of dealing with the whole process. It is, mercifully, free of any excess drama and angst: this isn't an angry, impassioned departure, but a restrained, understated passing. In a way, this actually makes the piece more "real", at least to me, and therefore more touching.
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Ash is about watching someone die. The PC, here, is getting to grips with their mother's proximity to death; the prevailing mood is deep weariness. The writing is stark, the descriptions minimal. The links mostly appear in conversation, and their brevity suggests that both the PC and their mother have long since exhausted most conventional conversational topics.
Institutional healthcare looms large in this story. Healthcare professionals appear mostly as faceless, nameless, taciturn individuals, delivering bad news bluntly and awkwardly, referred to in aggregate, making the hospital seem not even like a prison, but a mechanised facility. Ash emphasises how no one knows what is going on, how no one cares enough to look up from the charts and see how patients are doing, how bureaucracy strangles good medicine. The result is claustrophobia, a sense of being trapped.
Ash illuminates an aspect of illness not often touched on in games, and despite everything, despite everything, remains hopeful.
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Games about experiencing chronic/long-term illness by verityvirtue
Games which primarily involve the experiences of the PC or an NPC with an illness, which may involve their experiences with healthcare professionals and other services. Not to say there isn't a place for games whose PCs have a long-term...
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