Iamleah Strong Blog Games About Depression

Games About Depression

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Games about depression been a powerful medium for tackling issues such as social isolation and loneliness. Oftentimes, they are more effective than traditional methods of treatment, such as a doctor’s visit or talking therapy, at alleviating depression. And the independent gaming community has been at the forefront of this push, creating a variety of games that feature or explore mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

But it can be difficult to get these games right. While there are a few that manage to do so, others can fall into common traps when depicting mental illness. It’s a discussion that’s particularly important for games geared toward younger audiences, who are more likely to experience mental health struggles than other demographics.

Navigating the Shadows: Games about Depression and Mental Health

For example, the game Gris has been widely praised for its elegant puzzle-platformer gameplay and dark visuals. But it also relies on the familiar trope of progressing upward to a visible goal. It’s a common element in games, but a more realistic approach would be to show how a character might sink into despair or lose control.

Another example of a game that gets it right is 2016’s Stardew Valley, in which players assume control of their deceased relative’s dilapidated farm and live a simple life. It’s a soothing experience that teaches users about the value of a stable routine, while providing them with a fun way to escape their anxieties.

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