Depression Quest

I’m trying to mostly keep my blog about books, since that was what I established it for, but sometimes I come across things I really want to share, and this is one of them. Depression Quest is a text-based game (with audio), based on living with depression. It isn’t an easy game to play, emotionally, though it’s very simple in style — basically choose your own adventure — but I think it’s an important one.

You play as an unnamed, ungendered person who has a girlfriend called Alex, and the world is peopled with a support network — Attic, an online friend; Sam, a co-worker; your mother; your brother Malcolm; a therapist who an old friend helps you find. All of these react in different ways if you turn to them for help with your depression, just like real people.

I played through on more or less the route I’ve been able to take in real life: seeing a counsellor, getting on medication, talking to my partner and family fairly openly about it. Even so, parts of the game made me cry. I don’t want to open it up again and play through a different route. It isn’t perfectly representative of all the possible problems you can have when you’re depressed, but it offers a little taste that does, to my mind, two important things. 1) It tells people with depression that they’re not alone, that that uselessness and darkness they feel is experienced by others, and 2) it can provide a way for them to demonstrate to other people both what it feels like and the obstacles that face you.

Depression Quest is a game, a story, and an important contribution to openly talking about depression. It really makes me wonder if I should offer to write a script for “Anxiety Quest”…


4 thoughts on “Depression Quest

  1. Oh, you definitely should. I’ve never heard of this one, but maybe I should give it a try. We all battle with depression once in a while. If you ever release the Anxiety Quest, let me know – my daughter has the anxiety disorder.

    • I do recommend looking at it. It’s not a fun game, but it is pretty enlightening. What sort of anxiety disorder does your daughter have? Mine is generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), though I have obsessive compulsive traits too.

    • I’m not sure whether this is a legitimate comment or spam, given the website doesn’t seem to exist and there are two email addresses associated with the comment. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I unspammed it. But, uh, I’m not entirely sure what you’re getting at here: what problems are there with my “argument”? (What problems can there be with a recounting of my honest reactions to the game?)

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