Depression Quest: First Thoughts

Trigger warning: this post discusses depression in some detail. It is not written by a mental health professional.  Sufferers of depression and similar conditions should think carefully about playing the game it discusses. It is intended to raise awareness and aid understanding for non-sufferers. If you think you may be negatively affected by the game, get a professional opinion or try asking the developer before playing it.

Recently, through the actions of some very thoughtless and blinkered people, I became aware of a person called Zoe Quinn and a game called Depression Quest.

I wonder how many other people have “found” this game through the reaction to the whole #gamergate thing. I hope it got a lot of traction from it. It might make up a tiny bit for the horrific abuse that the creator endured.

I’ve just finished a play-through of the game. Before I go back again, I thought I would share my first reactions.

It’s a deeply emotional game. I don’t have depression, but I know people who do. Before starting, I wondered how this might affect my choices in the game. As it turned out, I don’t think it did, much.

At almost every choice, I found myself thinking “Well, this is obviously the best way to go. This will obviously help.”. This says a lot about how difficult it is to put myself in the mindset of someone with depression. The obvious, rational choice can seem stupid, overwhelming and terribly scary. I know this, and yet still I found it hard to not pick the “obvious” (to me) choice.

Therefore, at the end of my first play through, my character got an “doing pretty well” ending. I’ll be playing through again (and again), in the hope of gaining a deeper understanding of how things can go. As the “ending” of the game says, there is no real end.

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2 Responses to Depression Quest: First Thoughts

  1. Nick says:

    Hi

    I am just getting over depression. A game that would make me remember depression would not be a game I would want to play and would never suggest to anyone or agree with. That said it is up to each person to make their own choices.

    This part is hard to say. Its not before I got depression, because you don’t go out and buy it, or borrow it. It just happens. I ended up with almost being sectioned but it was understood that would made the depression greater, due to the fact, part of my depression was the worry about my family and if I was not near them I would have been pacing with fear that they was not ok. They would have been fine but that’s how depression gets you.

    Depression can hit the most secure and confident person going, not just the person who has self confidence issues. I was to all ends the person everyone I new turned to for advice, counselling, if something needed doing they came to me, and at work I was given responsibilities’. It was a shock to everyone that new me, when it happened.

    It turned out I had had depression since I was a teen and did not even know I had it. ‘Well, That’s Life’. I suppose what I am trying to say is, this game might seem innocent but if some is suffering depression and does not know it, and has confident issues, then it could start a chain reaction that brings out the depression. Trust me when I say that is not good. If my partner had gone out like I had tried to get her to, I would not be writing this now. The depression may sort of got better, and I don’t think about ending the day, before the day has ended, all the time anymore. But there are times when my inner voice still has a go at trying to convince me that the other way is better, and that the other way is so much easier. It takes a lot of contemplation and will power sometimes to say no.

    Please don’t promote games like the one you are taking about. Not just for the other persons fate, but for yours. Could YOU live with yourself, knowing that someone had KILLED themselves playing this game you had recommended?

    • fowkc says:

      Based on Nick’s reply I’ve added a trigger warning to my post (which I should have done before posting).

      Nick is right, sufferers of depression and similar conditions should think carefully about playing this game. It is intended to raise awareness and aid understanding for non-sufferers. If you think you may be negatively affected by the game, get a professional opinion or try asking the developer before playing it.

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