“Remember to look up at the stars”, said the late Stephen Hawking, “to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist”. Unfortunately he failed to add “but not like Dr. Simon Forman”, an Elizabethan
quack proper doctor, honest, who divined medial treatment from the heavens. You play as him in Astrologaster, a “story-driven astrological comedy” based on his actual life. Yesterday developers Nyamyam announced that it’s coming out on May 9th, and popped out a fresh trailer.
Apparently he also did relationship advice?
I stepped into Forman’s shoes for a tiny bit at last year’s EGX. Each day a new patient comes up to you, tells you what ails ’em, then waits patiently for advice while you consult a grid of horoscopes. My memory is pretty ropey, but I’m pretty sure I accidentally told someone their husband was cheating on them when really he’d just bought into a foolish hunt for some Spanish treasure. I do not know how the stars knew about the Spanish treasure.
Certain liberties have been taken, for sure, but the cases have all been inspired by Forman’s research. Creative director Jennifer Schneidereit got the idea after attending a lecture at the University of Cambridge, where she later roped in Dr. Lauren Kassell and her research team. There’s a trove of insights into Elizabethan society tucked up in Forman’s casebooks, and this seems like a neat (if slightly muddled) way of exploring them. Like so:
Patients come back to you with new problems based on whatever you told them on their last visit, so to an extent you’re not learning about actual events so much as actual dispositions and social dynamics. Which I’m still up for, especially because this press release asks whether I’ll “win over my patients with horoscopes” or “ruin their lives”. It’s the latter. I’m going to do the latter.
On May 9th.