Historical mistreatment of people with mental illnesses
Emotional and psychological violence, especially against women
Sustained threat of physical violence, especially against women
Threat of violent medical procedures
Violence and murder
Racist, ableist and misogynist slurs
Bedlam Beautiful is designed to model a terrifying power imbalance and system of emotional violence that really exists, here, right now. As such, some of us, many of us, have experienced in our real lives the fear and powerlessness that the game's designed to create. Some of us, many of us, have in ways perpetrated it.
For 15 years, Meguey Baker worked on the front line of health and human services, running support groups for new mothers and parents at risk for post-partum anxiety, post-partum depression, and post-partum psychosis. Now she works as a textile conservationist for a couple of local history museums, which is to say, she preserves the work and stories of women who left no other records of their experiences. Of this game, she says:
"We don't get to look at only the pleasant or most exciting parts of history. We don't get to look at only the parts of society that make us feel content. For the women in crisis I worked with, the most powerful thing we did was listen and acknowledge that their experiences were real. This game is another way of hearing stories that could have been recorded, but were not deemed valuable at the time, and so were lost. It's for Agnes Richter and for all those who left even less record of their truth."