Mentalmon by Beau van Gisbergen
We receive an overload of crazy and depressing news every day, which is only getting more and more extreme. Is it even possible to imagine a bright future in 50 years if this continues?
‘This is fine’, designed by Beau van Gisbergen, is a line of speculative products that show something about, and mock, the dystopian future we might have ahead of us. The products are displayed in Fine TM, the world’s most depressing pop-up store, exhibited on the DDW.
One of the products is called Mentalmon, which is a pack of 10 trading cards. The cards all display a different mental illness or disorder, that you can trade and collect. The game was created due to the increase of mental problems among youngsters and especially because self-diagnosing is becoming more common. This results in people having a lot of different mental issues, making it sometimes feel like they aren’t real issues any more, but rather something that people can collect. The game was inspired by Pokémon cards and how Beau used to collect them when he was younger, so the goal of the game is that you ‘Gotta catch them all’.
This game gives us a different perspective on our mental health, which can be related to our trend ‘Independent well-being’. This trend is about independently taking care of our mental and physical well-being with the use of tools. This way we don’t have to rely on others to feel good, which gives us a feeling of safety, independence and stability in the uncertain times that we live in right now. We feel like we cannot always rely on others, and therefore we take matters into our own hands.
While taking control of your own well-being can be very empowering, we also need to be critical of what we can do by ourselves and when it’s better to use the help of other people.
The game raises the question if taking care of your mental health is something we could do by ourselves. It questions the growing need of people to self-diagnose and what it does to people? Is it helpful to diagnose yourself or should you go to a professional?
Taking caring of your mental well-being independently can have its flaws too. Humans require other humans to function in a healthy and balanced way. It’s good that we have tools to take care of ourselves, but we shouldn’t disregard other people’s opinion in the process. Therefore, we need to create a balance, where we use tools to help ourselves but also ask for professional help.
You can find more about Beau van Gisbergen and his work at www.beauvangisbergen.com and @beauvgisbergen on Instagram.
Spotted and written by Yara Stiglic