Honors Projects


Paper Cranes: Video Game Development as Art Therapy


Paper Cranes explores, through both technical research and a proof-of-concept project, the idea of video game development as a form of art therapy: the process of creating a narrative that is told through an interactive medium to facilitate a therapeutic process for the creator. In this thesis, three concepts are developed and discussed: firstly, that video games can function as art, both aesthetically and in their creation; secondly, that video games and their application in players’ lives can function as therapy for players; and lastly, that the creation of art can function as therapy. The project itself acts as an application of these theories on a personal level: the game is an interactive narrative—making heavy use of the visual language of classic role playing video games—that functions as a metaphorical representation of a personal struggle with identity, loss, and self-esteem. Furthermore, through the expression of these struggles in an interactive and accessible medium, players can connect more intricately with the emotions and intent of the creator.

Publication Date

Winter 12-7-2014