Depression Quest

A friend sent me an article about a web-based game called Depression Quest, an interactive game where the user plays a fictional character that has depression. You go about this person’s everyday life, and your goal is to manage your illness and regular life events to the best of your ability in spite of your illness.

The goal of the game is to help those who do not know what it’s like to have depression to attempt to understand it better, to raise awareness for depression, mental illness, and suicide prevention, and to also help sufferers of depression realize that they are not alone in their feelings. Ironically, this game was released on the same day that Robin Williams was found to have committed suicide. If you’d like to play it, you can either play it for free or can pay what you want; all fees go directly to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

I think the game is a good attempt at trying to help raise awareness, but as someone who has lost someone to suicide and knew how hard his life was, I’m not fully convinced that this can help outsiders understand the state of mind better. After going through about 10 pages of the game, the only real “interaction” that happens are prompts that ask you what you want to do next (making a choice). The rest is all text and some sad background music. I can understand the state because of how close I was to Ed, but if I didn’t have that experience, I’m not sure I would gain more empathy and understanding just through this. It’s worth trying, but hasn’t struck a chord with me.

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