If you’ve been following me for awhile then you probably already know this, but just to make sure everyone is on the same page: I’ve been struggling with depression for years. I’ve written about my experiences with it on my personal blog, most notably in my two-part retelling of my suicide attempt (part 1; part 2). So I was very interested last year when I heard about Depression Quest, a Twine-made text-adventure-type-thing that purported to convey what it’s like to suffer from depression. But I was afraid it would trigger me, so I put off playing it until just a few weeks ago.
Now I’m really glad I played it, and I’m kind of angry at myself for not doing so sooner. Depression Quest is fantastic. It’s written and designed so well that not only does it give non-depressive people insight into what depression is like, it can also give depressed people like me a sense of comfort and hope. The game uses the capabilities of Twine creatively and masterfully. I want to discuss how and why, but first I want to put up a little spoiler warning.