Child of Addict Turns His Painful Past into a Game

closeup of hands on gaming controls

Child of Addict Turns His Painful Past into a Game


You play video games to disconnect from your reality. Most games allow you to slip into fantasy worlds with dragons and imaginary kingdoms or space adventures with frightening aliens and monsters. Vander Caballero, the creative director of Minority Media, took his past experiences and created “Papo & Yo,” a video game that takes you into a magical world through the streets of a favela in Rio de Janeiro. The game weaves the fantasy of video games with a topic that affects many: Addiction. In “Papo & Yo,” Quico is a 10-year-old boy who escapes to an imaginary world to avoid a sad and dangerous reality. He is accompanied by Monster, a pink beast with a split personality. Although Monster helps Quico throughout the adventures, he has a nasty side. Monster is addicted to frogs and becomes a raging beast when he gets them. While in his frog intoxication, Monster chases and attacks Quico. This game is inspired by Caballero’s difficult childhood and tumultuous relationship with his father, who battled alcohol and drug dependency. As a child of an addict, Caballero endured many hardships but was able to take his experiences and create a beautiful and enchanting video game that brings awareness to an important issue. Fortunately for Caballero, he was able to overcome his past. Unfortunately, many children of addicts also fall into the vicious cycle of addiction. Stepping Stone Center can help families that are struggling with alcoholism. Stop the pain. Call Stepping Stone Center at 866-841-2789 and begin the healing process in alcohol rehab.