Posted on 6 Comments

What Does It All Mean?

Whether intended or not, a video game has inherently influential messages. I think this is the point that Flanagan is making on critical computer games. Knowing that a game sends a message implies the designer(s) could, and perhaps should, seize the opportunity to shape the messages into something meaningful.

I played Depression Quest recently. This game definitely sends a critical message. The player starts out depressed, not on medication for depression, and not in therapy. Generally speaking, everything is terrible. You have no motivation. Anxiety. Everything bums you out. Work is insurmountable. Relationships uncomfortable. All decisions the game offers are rife with fear, dread, woe, and despair. The music is even depressing.

Eventually you may start therapy, and you may start medication for your depression, but depression keeps coming at you. It’s not over. You do your therapy. You take your meds. But it’s not over. The game ends, but the depression isn’t over. Depression Quest carefully delivers the message that there is no easy solution for depression.

6 thoughts on “What Does It All Mean?

  1. This reminds me of a movie concept Louis CK always wanted to make. He wanted a movie about a normal guys life where everything is mediocre and then slowly gets worse. Eventually the movie just ends with everything being worse off then in the beginning. I always thought this was a funny concept, because life doesn’t always get better. The depression message is a little bit more educational though. Really interesting game concept.

  2. The game is not a pleasant experience by any means.

  3. I would suggest a game like that should be banned from the screen. it maybe interesting but it’s idea but games might have an impact to some players and no one would like to see people getting depressed here. would you agree?

  4. It is great that games can be used for serious purposes such as this, but I do also enjoy the games that are made for entertainment only with no serious message.

  5. This sounds so interesting and a different take on educating people on the effects of depression. I’m not sure if I would want to play the game because I prefer things that have a lighter tone to them, but I’m sure that many people would find this game enlightening. For a name like ‘Depression Quest’, you would think that you would get a reward by the end of the game versus just continuing to battle depression. Perhaps it should be called ‘Depression Battle’ instead.

  6. This sounds like an interesting game that definitely relates to like and the problems people with depression face. Hopefully while sending the message that there is no easy solution to depression, the game maker is also sending out a hopeful message to possibly help those with depression.