Meditation Games Diary: 1/3/19

This experience was easily the most somber game I have played in a very long time. It was created by Lisa Brown as an attempt to depict the effects of Major Depressive Disorder. The mechanics require you to pull the limbs of a gray limp and ragdoll-esque human body to drag it on the ground and to the light at the end of the room, which has an unfortunately human-sized hole by it, trying to drag you into the abyss before you will receive even a glimpse of joy.

I have never played a game that depicts depression as strong as this small game does. It is a gem that shows you just how hard it is to feel happy when having depression. It was a feeling that I never had, but the game made me feel like a had a chance to briefly feel what depression feels like. The body unwilling to move, the loss of hope, the restless eyes. Every aspect was portrayed so perfectly grimly, haunting my mind with the imagery of depression. It made me think about my friends who suffer from it and my past of not understanding their struggles.

I was not a great person in the past, and I didn’t fully understand when people would tell me the extent of their mental health. It was hard to believe that depression could render them immobile, unable to attend school or do basic activities, but I have grown since then and have developed sympathy for everyone who struggles with mental illness.

I have never seen depression portrayed in such a strong way in games before. The thought the gameplay evoked in my brain was one of immense pain, anger, and sadness. Nobody should have to deal with depression, and I am angry at the world, and perhaps at the Gods or lack thereof, for letting such horrific feelings consume anyone on this Earth.

The emotions that Brown’s game gave to me were unlike anything I have experienced. In the end, I fell into the abyss, and then I didn’t replay the game. I don’t know the happy ending to Brown’s game, or if there even is one. All I know is the ending where I fall into the pit of darkness, letting it consume me, and being unable to get out. A feeling that I hope nobody is going through, but know for certain that some are.

Brown’s game left me speechless. The art, while not complex, portrayed the dark depths of depression extremely well, to the point that playing it was anxiety-inducing. It will be available on the same day next year, and maybe then I will be able to overcome the depression and make it past the dark abyss begging me to fall inside of it. I hope you get through this, readers. You are strong and can accomplish anything. Never forget that. Never, ever, forget that.

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