We don't have many Game Fridays at Museum 2.0 anymore, but this one is so good I had to share. The Asylum: Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys is an extremely strange, somewhat slow, wonderfully wandering narrative game. You are the psychiatrist, complete with German accent. Your patients are stuffed animals that have suffered severe trauma due to owner mistreatment, personal delusion, you name it. In the game, you can choose a variety of treatments (dream analysis, hypnosis, ...) to assist you as you make your final diagnosis.
In a world of museum exhibits geared towards making visitors feel as though they ARE the scientist, historian, etc., this game offers some humorous insights into the possibilities--and limitations--of such simulations. While the game's content is rather unorthodox, it also succeeds at the basic design level of connecting something new and strange (performing psychoanalysis) with something familiar (stuffed animals). There's a 2.0 element as well--a doctor's log at the front desk in which you can write and browse comments (which are charmingly multi-lingual). And it has wonderfully disarming, engrossing content. Whether as a game or a design inspiration, it's a pleasant Friday afternoon on the couch.
And if you fall in love with the characters, they are also available as plush toys (patients for home therapy) in a sneaky little product tie-in. Remember, play nice.