During the past year, even the strongest people I know have not been okay. As a domestic violence survivor, I have spent years learning to cope with the lingering effects of trauma – depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and anger. I found that many of the tools that helped me learn to live after leaving an abusive relationship also helped me survive the isolation and uncertainty of the pandemic. I wanted to share those tools with others who might need them during this extraordinarily difficult time.
In my professional life, I’ve often been asked to educate or spread awareness through words: through fundraising appeals, personal essays, and human interest stories. While sometimes effective, these are passive exercises. By incorporating game design into my art practice, I aim to shift the narrative to one of empowerment and participation. In FrankBot, my concept was simple: to give those suffering from trauma or mental illness the tools that they need to support themselves. And so, a digital friend, who is available at any time to help those who need it, was born.