Your body aches. Your head feels like it is going to explode. You are tired, but you can’t sleep. And every day, you have to painstakingly stick to a schedule, just to take pills to mitigate some of these symptoms. You are living with a chronic invisible illness. Bitter Pills is a board game about this experience, where you manage your medications and deal with the symptoms of hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome. Chronic illnesses are often hard to talk about, and in the case of invisible illness, there’s no outward symptoms for others to see. By playing Bitter Pills, sufferers are given a way to discuss chronic illness with others through a less complicated language than the usual medical terminology, and their loved ones are able to experience the often stressful process of their daily routine.
This project was made possible in part by funding from the Albert P. Weisman Award.
Bitter Pills will be on display as part of the 2015 Interdisciplinary Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. The exhibition will run from May 8-May 23, 2015. It will also appear at the 2015 Albert P. Weisman Exhibition at the Arcade Gallery at Columbia College Chicago September 8-October 15, 2015.
Bitter Pills retails for $75 (includes USPS priority 2-day shipping). To purchase, please email me. Games will take 4-6 weeks to print, assemble, and ship. Shipments will begin May 26, 2015.
How-To Play Bitter Pills
This video aids in the instruction of Bitter Pills, a board game about living with chronic invisible illness.
SupeRx is a dialogue between chronic illness sufferers and their loved ones, in the form of a board game. The game mimics the daily struggle of managing medications, which need to be taken on a specific schedule. This game is now part of a larger game to be produced and exhibited as a part of the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media, called Bitter Pills. Game illustrations by Wesley K. Hall; playtest support from Dan Ciskey, Greg Browe, Jules Piscitiello, and Sid Branca.