The Average Everyday Adventures Of Samantha Browne Is About Anxiety & Making Oatmeal

Besides having a particularly long title, The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne [official site] is a narrative game about an introverted college student who suffers from social anxiety and finds great challenge in even the most straightforward of tasks. It’s the debut venture of Californian outfit Lemonsucker Games and although not due to release until this Tuesday (for free), it has a new trailer. Come see below.

In fact, I’m sure this is the first time many of you are hearing of The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne, so let’s start with this one:

And for those who prefer the written word, the above trailer explains:

“There was once a girl named Samantha, who lived in remote dorm, at a remote university, in a remote part of the country. Normally, this suited her just fine – but tonight she needs your help.

“Help Sam as she embarks on a mission to make oatmeal in the communal kitchen of her dorm. Make the wrong choices and her hunger meter will lead you to devastating consequences. Succeed, and you will help Samantha in more ways than one.”

Conceived in mid-2015, The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne aims to tell the titular protagonist’s story by focusing on the everyday issues faced by someone dealing with social anxiety. It hopes to explore the mundanity of life from the lead character’s perspective and, by choosing text options, asks that players adapt to how Samantha thinks and processes the world around her. “Trouble is, helping Sam isn’t always easy,” reads the game’s blurb, which should make for some interesting and enlightening outcomes.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, there were 8.2 million recorded cases of anxiety in 2013, yet issues of mental health are something we – for whatever reason – inherently struggle to discuss as a society. If videogames like this can help initiate a discourse, or help educate those unaware of such issues then I’m all for it. Plus, The Average Everyday Adventures of Samantha Browne is free when it lands on Steam and Itch on Tuesday, so why not pick it up?

Until then, here’s the latest, live-action short:

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  1. alert says:

    Another feels game? Nah.

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      shevek says:

      Quite right. I personally am so against “feels” that my only pastime is Tetris, which I play in monochrome while listening to numbers stations.

    • Smoof says:

      I really don’t know where I stand with this kind of stuff, at least the introvert social anxiety wankery. I’m an introvert. I have social anxiety (have for a long time) and now suffer from generalized anxiety and depression. I deal with it and try to live as normally as possible, which includes drugs and therapy as needed. I don’t mind telling people, as it’s a part of my life, but I’m sick of others like me wanking on about it and expecting sympathy.

      Yeah, I definitely know it can be crippling at times, but you gotta stop wishing the world worked your way when it doesn’t. You have to force yourself to move and get help as needed, rather than wallow in your self pity.

      • Premium User Badge

        shevek says:

        I don’t have a lot of sympathy with the “introverts are special snowflakes” meme, but I think there’s a distinction to be made between “don’t forget things that are easy for you can be genuinely hard for me” and “I am different, and therefore special”. A good empathy game ought to be the former, but I guess time will tell.

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        Sinomatic says:

        I didn’t see any of this saying it was asking for sympathy. There’s a difference between other people gaining understanding and empathy for your situation, or asking for everyone to feel sorry for you.

      • GWOP says:

        There’s a large divide between seeking sympathy and empathy.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        I suppose there is a risk of glorifying the tragic loner thing by tackling this subject in a game, just as there’s a risk of glorifying violence in a shooter. It’s all about the approach, surely?

      • Slazia says:

        I think, as the article says, bringing the topic up is the important part. Not everyone knows what is wrong with them. Not everyone can find the courage to go and see a doctor. I would imagine depression combined with social anxiety would be very hard to deal with.
        “I’m sick of others like me wanking on about it and expecting sympathy” – I think this is especially harmful. Your experience is you experience. I happy you are managing to deal with it. I don’t know you or what you are facing, but some people truly need sympathy and help as they are in danger of killing themselves out of frustration. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with spreading that message.

        • Dilapinated says:

          Ah, the “I had a mental illness once, but I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, why can’t you?” people. Wonderful. Akin to lecturing someone with a burst femoral artery about that one time you skimmed your knee in the playground..

          • Enso says:

            Have you ever been treated for mental illness? Because your words prove you definitely have one.

          • Dilapinated says:

            “Haha, you sound like a disabled person.”

            Really? Wow. Okay.

  2. El Mariachi says:

    Who eats oatmeal out of a mug? That is indeed mental.

    • Ayslia says:

      When you’re a college student living in a dorm room without access to many of the usual kitchen supplies, you learn to make do.

      (Source: am college student with social anxiety who went to the communal dining room exactly once before learning to make do with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches)

    • Flit says:

      I do, most days. Why not?

  3. Morgan Joylighter says:

    I didn’t have severe social anxiety in college but I do now and this looks uncomfortably poignant…

  4. Morgan Joylighter says:

    Also, if she would just get an electric kettle and a thermos she could make oatmeal in her room whenever she wanted :D (source….guess)

    • cautet says:

      Having played one run-through before rage-quitting (I almost rage-quit before I actually lost as the game was that irritating) I totally agree.

      I can understand the social anxiety part. I think almost everyone has had times when living in shared student accommodation when they waited until the kitchen was clear or felt uncomfortable around complete strangers.

      However, there was a microwave right next to the kettle. If you don’t know how to use a kettle use the microwave!!!! And go buy a kettle and read the instructions to limit your need to ask people how to use one.

      Not really much of a game. To some extent it captured the social anxiety that for some people is a main focus of their life but for everyone else is something they will have likely felt to a degree at some point or other. It didn’t really capture the game element for me though.

      This sounds a bit odd but I was almost wishing for some self-harm options when she was messing around with the kettle such as stab yourself with the spoon for not being able to use a kettle.

      Also – why not get call up a pizza? Or go to a late night store which is empty and buy a loaf of bread without talking to anyone?

      • cautet says:

        I was hoping for an experience a bit more akin to the awkward conversation at the dinner table game where the mum tries to explain her love of WOW. That game for me was both enjoyable as a game and still worked as an explanation of the social awkwardness caused by a mild form of autism.

  5. Koozer says:

    I haven’t played this, but it better include listening carefully for signs of (non) activity in the kitchen before venturing forth, planning meals for times when the other humans will most likely not be eating, and planning conversation topics just in case the unthinkable happens.

  6. LennyLeonardo says:

    Seems ripe for a Life is Strange crossover. ‘Sam & Max Hit The Road’.

  7. Raoul Duke says:

    Sounds ghastly.

    I don’t mean that I’m not sympathetic towards people with such issues. But this sounds like about as much fun as Broken Leg Simulator 2016 or Super Cancer Chemofight II: Remission Impossible.

    By which I mean: what is interesting or enjoyable about a simulation of an inherently unpleasant and difficult experience? As a general rule, people play games in order to have fun or experience something compelling – what is fun or compelling about this?

    • Alto says:

      Why do people watch Schindler’s List? Some people seem to enjoy being “challenged” by their media. Some people like to pick and choose which media challenge them (i.e., only read pulp fiction books but obsessively watch depressing documentaries).

      I personally have never watched Schindler’s List because it would be pointlessly depressing because I don’t need to watch a movie to know genocide is bad, but many people consider it the sort of movie everyone should watch at least once in their life.

      tl;dr: different people have different tastes.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      “remission impossible” is funnydark. It’s all taste in the end. I mean your namesake seemed to seek out horrifying experiences in search of some kind of truth/escape/both. I think most people do that, it’s just their horror is different from yours.

  8. melancholicthug says:

    What a load of bull. I used to have troubles interacting with people, but now I just don’t have any friends and the only thing I do on weekends is pc games. And my anxiety is gone! Yes, I have crushing despair and every day I think of ending it all, but the anxiety is gone, dammit.