the NEEDle

Amanda Spilker

Choose your own adventure game that showcases the struggles faced by addiction suffers and highlights the importance of safe injection sites.


In 2017, 308 people died of an overdose and in 2015, 137. That is over a 100% increase in deaths by overdose within just Toronto in a two year period. The stigma that surrounds safe injection sites and addiction in general paints places like the Works, located on Yonge + Dundas, as places that promote addiction rather than what they are, which is places that save lives.


Through multiple layers of research on empathy, entry points and storytelling methods, a choose your own adventure style game was created. Using a online hosting website, the user interacts with storylines that have been based on interviews and secondary research, with scenarios backed up with real life facts on overdose and drug-related crimes within the GTA.


Using a choose your own adventure style game, the user can play the part of someone who suffers from addiction and experiencing the hard decisions that someone in that position may have to make. Through this, empathy can be felt and the importance of safe injection sites is highlighted.