What Uncharted 4 Taught One Gamer About Depression


Over at Remeshed, Emma Kidwell talks about her experience with ending Uncharted 4 — and how putting down the controller gave her the chance to reflect on her depression.

Content warning: full article contains spoilers for the end of Uncharted 4.

After finishing Uncharted 4 I realized that the emotions I felt while playing a video game to completion very much mirrored the ups and downs of my mental health throughout the course of my adult life.

When it was release day, I drove to pick up my collector’s edition and strapped it into the passenger side with the seat belt stretched carefully over the box. The anticipation to play was unreal. Picking up the controller before starting a new title rejuvenates my sense of excitement and eagerness. Clocking in hours spent exploring new environments, creating relationships with characters, and becoming invested in the narrative all mirror my “good” days. I’m content and happy.

The state of mind I’m in before playing a new game is a parallel to when I feel normal and completely functional.

Watching as the screen goes black and transitions to a wall of text full of developer names and acknowledgements following the end of a game brings a familiar emptiness in my stomach. It’s something that I never knew how to describe, but it happened every time I finished a game that really resonated with me.

That desolate, vacant feeling parallels my “bad” days. I’m withdrawn and lethargic. The emptiness is crippling and strange.

She goes on to explain how this epiphany has made it easier for her to talk about her depression, and easier to recognize the ways it ebbs and flows.

Video games aren’t therapy, but they can be therapeutic in so many ways. If you have a story of how video games helped you cope with your own mental health, we’d love to share it.

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