Taylor McCue | 2018 (Twine), 2020 (Remake) | Web, Steam (Remake)
A short, not very sweet, but very worthwhile little experience.
Saving You From Yourself is a little game where you take the role of a therapist. One of your clients, Arle, is coming to you so they can get a therapy letter and legally transition. Simple enough, right?
The game can be divided into "loops", each consiting of the following:
Arle visits, you ask a question, they respond, you decide if they're worth giving a letter of approval.
If you say yes then congrats! Arle gets bloodwork, gets hormones, and is happy with her decision.
If you say no then the game shows you what Arle does after the visit when they tell their friend that they weren't approved.
The "fucked up" thing with this game is that you don't play as anyone who's empathetic or understanding.
It's also the thing that made the game an interesting experience for me.
Your instructions go as-follows:
"Your job is not to facilitate medical care but to prevent people from making mistakes. The patients you encounter might regret transitioning. Your job is to protect them from that. Only you can decide who is really transgender."
Your questioning to Arle never gets very pleasant, in fact every visit makes you more rude towards her.
You start off just asking simple questions, "How long have you identified as a woman?" is the first option you're given.
By the last visit you've thrown any respect out the window and just insult her.
Asking things like "What would you do if I told you that you could never transition?" is... man that just hurts to think about.
The right end from "your" perspective isn't to actually give Arle the letter she wants, it's to reject her every time.
It leaves her feeling horrible, Taylor McCue made an Epilogue animation exploring what happens with Arle after the game is over and the therapist takes a pretty disgusting view that "she never came back, she wasn't serious enough about transitioning, so you protected her and did your job perfectly".
All that said, do you have to be an asshole to Arle? Nope.
You can approve her on the first visit where she happily goes, gets everything she needs, and tells a friend that she found a good therapist.
I like that ending.
Heck, even with taking the stance of "I'm going to be a dick to this person", you can still approve her on the third visit.
It's sad because she had to sell almost everything to pay for therapy but she's still happy that she finally got what she needs to legally transition.
This wasn't a happy game but it was definitely worth playing. It's a little view into something that I know nothing about, it ain't a cozy view but the discomfort helps get the point across, and I'm glad it was made.
If you'd like to check the game out, go to the itch.io page for the remake through this link or go to the Steam page through this link.