For class this week, we had to two play two very different games with one common theme: empathy. dys4ia is an autobiographical game that portray’s the life of the author while she undergoes a sex change. Depression Quest is a game that was made to try to help those who do not understand depression, understand more fully and to show sufferers of depression that they are not alone. While both dys4ia and Depression Quest both evoked emotion and empathy from me, I felt more closely connected to Depression Quest.
I will say it took me a little while longer to feel empathy in Depression Quest than it did in dys4ia. At first I felt that I was being told who I was. It was weird reading, “You are ____…you have a brother” etc. It felt very forced. However, I ended up becoming emotionally invested in it. The moment where I really felt connected to my character was when he encounters his mom. She is completely unaware of what is going on with her son and her attitude keeps him from speaking up about it. Even when he does start to say something about his depression, she completely shoots him down. It made me angry. Though I don’t know if everyone had this experience in the game, I think the game designers did a good job with the scene. It happens at a point in the game where the player has played enough to be emotionally into it. It fosters empathy because you feel terrible but cannot say or do anything to your stubborn mom because your depression has taken over. Personally speaking, I also felt more emotion at this point because for a long time I didn’t have the best relationship with my mom. I know what it’s like to not be listened to and also know how hard it is to speak up. So for me, that scene was differently where things shifted in terms of empathy.