Video games can’t replace mental health care, but sometimes you find that perfect game, book or movie that offers up exactly what you need in a dark moment. When that happens, it’s worth celebrating.
Writing for Kotaku Australia, Justin Scott opens up about how Breath of the Wild has been that perfect game for him during a particularly difficult bout of depression.
Of late, video games had actually been exacerbating my depression. I love the LEGO games, but The Force Awakens, with its endless mindless fetching, made me start to question the meaning of my existence. I played it and liked it as a game but hated it as a thing I did with my life. The sudden emptiness of the rest of my life magnified the meaninglessness of the game and made me feel slightly sick as I played.
Breath of the Wild is not like that.
It reminds me of my solitude as I sit alone on my couch and play. Yes, it reminds me of my loneliness as Link wanders the vast, inhospitable plains of Hyrule. And yes, it reminds me constantly that life is not necessarily fair as I die more in this game than in all other Zelda games combined.
But somehow it manages to package all that up in something comforting, a warm blanket that smells of a fondly remembered picnic where you lay with your head in her lap and she smiled down at you as the sun gently burnt your face. Link searches for memories to cling to as he finds himself lost in a world both familiar and strange. I do the same. And when we find them, they save little bits of each of us.
Breath of the Wild isn’t the perfect game for everyone (though it tries, and sometimes succeeds). What games have given you just what you needed in a hard time? After you check out the full article, consider sharing your story with us and the whole Take This community.