Happy Valentine’s Day: Depression Quest Is Coming For You

Depression Quest

You probably don’t need to hear this. Likely chances are you’re a carefree type with someone you love and they love you back. How lovely for you. Beautiful, some might say. So be it the task of those who don’t have such a wondrous life to make yours for just this one day, Valentine’s Day, slightly less happy if they can. This is why I’m introducing you to Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest. But don’t blame me entirely: she made the game and released it on today of all days; I’m just guiding you to it. So who’s the real monster? Well, it’s neither of us; it’s you for being so joyous…oh, actually, no, it’s depression – that royal shit.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who can relate to the toils of depression and the complete drag it takes on your being. If you’ve been there, then we can probably give an acknowledging nod to each other as if to say, “I know; I know.” Once you start spiralling into that hole, it becomes very hard to stop, and it takes a lot to get out of it. This is what Depression Quest translates into gameplay inside an interactive (non)fiction consisting over 40,000 words.

Depression Quest

“Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression. You are given a series of everyday life events and have to attempt to manage your illness, relationships, job, and possible treatment.”

At the time of writing, Depression Quest hasn’t actually been released, but I thought I’d get you prepared for it as soon as possible in the hopes of ruining your amazing life quicker. Being about what it is, Depression Quest is partly about raising awareness of the ugly thing, and so you’ll be able to play it for free if you wish. You can, however, also pay-what-you-want for it, and not only will those proceeds go to the developers, but also to iFred, which is a charity that aims to deal with depression and fight against it.

Down In The Dumps

Depression Quest

Considering I haven’t actually played the game yet, there’s not much I can say about how effective it is. Those who have played through it, though, have said it has a pretty big impact, which is quite worrying for those fragile minds out there. But hopefully the game turns people away from falling into depression – wakes them up from it, so to speak. That could depend on the ending that you receive as there are five of them altogether, so I can only imagine that there is a mix of good and bad ones to reach. Or maybe they’re all bad. The real life ending that I have from depression is that I’m more motivated to do things and aspire to do as much as I can. That’s a good ending. However, the thoughts do still linger, and it always nags at you, trying to claw its way back in, and sometimes it nearly has you.

From what I can tell from just reading up about Depression Quest, it seems to have been designed in a most brilliant way to capture what it’s like to go through with the illness. You’re given plenty of dialogue options at the beginning of the game, and so you’re free to do a number of activities with people like everyone does. But as you slowly and uncontrollably descend into depression, these options begin to be taken away. On top of this, the audio starts to glitch and become less enjoyable. Then the colors start to drain and a static noise begins to emerge. This may seem like a pretty obvious way to signify a sensual distortion, but it’s weird how that’s how things seem when you’re feeling that down. I even started to enjoy glitchy, imperfect music, grotesque images and craved the painful feeling in my stomach – that was the weirdest one, because it felt good (my only pleasure) to feel really bad.

Anyway, this isn’t about what I went through for a short time in my life, as I’ve got through it and without medication – music helped me see things straight again. This is about helping those who are stuck in that rut and need the help to get out. And it’s also about getting people to play the game so that they may better understand what it’s like without having to go through it. Chloi will be writing about the game soon, and she’ll tell you how she felt about it. Here’s the perfect trailer for Depression Quest too. Check it:

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