Depression Quest is not a good videogame, but I tweeted about it because even though it wasn’t a good game it did a good job of conveying a message about depression which is a very real thing that’s touched those around me. It’s a horrible condition that is misunderstood and any effort to raise awareness and understanding about it is positive in my opinion. Doesn’t make DQ a good game, it’s basically a choose your own adventure novel and should be treated as such.
Last week, I shared a link to a “game” about depression called Depression Quest. I had stumbled upon it entirely by accident, and as is usually the case for me, I ignored the drama surrounding it and just looked at it for what it was (and still is), which is a fairly well-written and terribly accurate portrayal of what it is like to live with depression, a situation I am all too familiar with. I was diagnosed with type II bipolar disorder in my twenties, and have struggled with it my entire life, often to the confusion of others who don’t understand what it’s like to have a mental illness. So in discovering this game, I was all too pleased to share it.
A day later, I was attacked by some douche with a Batman avatar and a bad attitude who called me a “shill” and told me to kill myself. I absolutely didn’t understand that, because I still didn’t know anout the big drama storm that was surrounding all of this. The name “Zoe Quinn” had not yet entered my sphere of knowledge. Today it did, and I started digging around, trying to learn more, and it made my head spin. Pretty recriminations! Backhanded accusations! He said! She said! Nepotism! Madness! Dogs and cats living together; mass hysteria!
I finally found what I consider to be a fairly reasonable point of view on this subject, penned by everybody’s favorite cynical British video game reviewer. No, not Yahtzee. Total Biscuit. Come on guys, stay on the same page with me, here!
Anyway, like me, all of this hit him sidelong because he had more important things to occupy his attention, and like me, he agrees that Depression Quest is not much of a game, but it increases awareness of depression, and that’s a good thing. He also points out that a majority of this drama seems to be a colossal slap fight between Social Justice Warriors and Male Rights Activists. Do I take a side in that dichotomy? Why yes, yes I do. I side with REASON and COMMON SENSE, and by merit of that stance, I will state that I think both groups are ridiculous, angry, hateful, spiteful people who just want to win, regardless of who they hurt in the process. Neither side is interested in equality, they’re interested in revenge for a perceived injustice. They both disgust me.
As for Zoe Quinn? I can’t honestly say. I skimmed her Tumblr and her Twitter, hoping to get a read on her. She seems okay to me, she’s given to occasional outbursts of SJW-ish chatter, but as far as I was able to tell at a glance, it doesn’t consume her every waking moment like some SJW’s. She seems like a minor offender, from what I can tell; but to be fair, I didn’t look THAT closely, because I generally don’t have any interest in the drama. Supposedly she cheated on her boyfriend with some video game journalists to get favorable reviews of Depression Quest. Is that true? I don’t know. I don’t CARE. Is she really pulling strings to get content pulled from YouTube and other places? Again, I don’t know, but if she is, that’s some serious fuckery, and would definitely lower my opinion of her significantly, but I’ve not seen any definitive proof.
None of it is relevant to the importance of what she made. You can hate her all you want, but I still think that Depression Quest, while certainly not a “game”, nor anything that belongs on Steam, is still an important puzzle piece in the overall goal of increasing public awareness of mental illness and the silent torment a large number of people endure. To denounce it because you don’t like the author is little more than an ad hominem attack, and it shows a marked lack of critical thinking skills on the part of whomever takes that stance.
Let the merit of Depression Quest stand on its own, and address your opinions on its author separately. That’s my take on the subject.