That was excellent, Danny. Bit by bit I've been digging through your work ever since you appeared on Giant Bomb's Bioforge videos. Found this video today after remembering you mentioning depression in the past. This has been a positive force during a pretty low day. And to all of you telling your stories in the comments, good luck.
I could go into an extremely long diatribe on how we got to this point, life, technology, money, slavery to money=depression. Depression is on the rise for a lot of people. I wasn't always depressed, I became depressed when I realized I really wasn't in control of my life but money was and anything you tried to do the gov't was there to tell you that you can't do this, can't do that. yada, yada, blah, blah. I think we as a species need to be free and with the money taking over globally and very few people who now decide what we can and can not do, we turn to things we can get away from. For me it was video games, I play video games because it helps me escape the real world (real world=depression).
Gaming wasn't always for my depression, it started out 32 some odd years ago, playing pong, then intellivision, comm 64, Atari, NES, I loved gaming and I was good at it, I was the guy if anybody got stuck on something they would had the controller to me and I'd do it in the first shot and make it look easy. But as I entered my teen years, I started to realize life wasn't all that was promised from TV, Newspapers, I at a young age figured out the American dream was a lie, nothing but propaganda to help you spend money, keep you in debt, make you subservient to a job. We as a people where not made for jobs, yet here we are depressed and killing ourselves in record numbers because we where not designed to be that way.
Gaming became all that I had at one point in my life, I lived, I breathed it, as soon as I was done with work or school I was gaming until I had to sleep and do it all over again the next day, then the internet hit and gaming became a whole new beast, I started meeting people from all over the world/U.S. that felt the same way I did, gaming was a stress relief, a way to cope with the reality that we have no say and no power to do anything we truly want. It helped make me stronger and feel like there was hope, but then you realize that all these people believe the same thing, yet do nothing about it. Depression again, I truly don't remember the last time I was happy was in the 80's somewhere I'm sure, and I don't even know if I could be happy again, but I still play games, keeps me going for now. Someday I'll kill myself, I have no doubt about this, it's just a matter of when I give up. I think the act of taking ones life is the last defiant shout to a system designed to control you from birth to death, it's your last defiant act that says you can't control everything I do. Never feel bad for someone who kills themselves, worry about yourself I guarantee they are at peace now. For now I'm content with my games and living a life of quiet desperation. If you're reading this I'm sure you already know what I'm talking about.
Ok sorry I went on the long diatribe.
if you dont like it, dont play it
if you dont like it, dont watch it
if you dont like it, dont comment here
I suffer from depression since I was six and got into school, almost twenty years ago. I can't remember what it was like beeing just healthy and happy before that. But I guess I'm not that badly off either.
The best thing games ever did for me? To meet my soon-to-be wife. Played Lord of the Rings Online and a little SWTOR, raided together and it just happened. When the depression got so worse, I couldn't work anymore, I packed my things and moved in to her - leaving my home behind and people who I would've called friends but who never gave a crap about me anyways. After a difficult year I now manage to do a part time job again at least. And I'll marry the girl I meet in a game...so it can happen ;)
The depression will always be a part of me, no matter what I do. I just try to get along with it every day.
This video made me tear up as this is something i've dealt with my whole life. Thanks GameSpot, you made me feel comfortable with my own derpression in my life.
It was World of Warcraft for me... I have met a lot of good people in that game and it helped me a lot that I didn't have to explain myself or my problems. I was able to be me, without all the negative things in my life, and that actually kept reminding me that I have to push in life and strive for the same thing outside of the game. Many of those people that I have met in WoW are still one of my best friends and they have made some of my biggest changes in life possible, which is helping me get over the depression.
I know how big the "war" is between good and bad in WoW, but that game, as every other, is there for you to use it in a way you see fit. A game is not bad if someone finds it useful in some way. But it is important not to replace it with your actual life, because then things just get worse.
This is one of the best videos on GameSpot, thank you.
great article. This is a topic which begs for far more study (clinical and empiricle) and examination. Sadness because of a given thing or situations is not depression, sadness in spite of things or situations is depression.
I´ve been through depression, had panic attacks as a result of trying to keep everything on the inside. Games helped (so did medication) but I cannot avoid mentioning that as much as they helped in the beggining (like every other hobby, in my case drawing), they can have a negative effect. I love gaming and I would never consider a game harmful but theres a point where going out with friends even if it means not talking or not wanting to go to a particular place is the most important thing. nothing can replace the people that loves you, or the people who is just interesting to be around. Today I´m living alone in a country far from home. I came here with my gf. She missed her family and went back, but i couldn´t cause i sold everything I had for us to come here. Sometimes i feel like staying at home and playing some game, draw or watch a movie. But I force myself to go out and even tho im far from family and friends i still get to meet interesting people. Yesterday I surfed for the first time and I think i´m in love. I know that everything happoens for a reason and i have my days when i can´t get out of bed but i have to cause if I don´t work I don~t eat, but thats life.
I was playing a lot but i decided that as much as i love games (rpg´s for me) it is just not healthy to play as the only recovery process. But this is my story and my point of view. if you read it till the end thank you very much and sorry for my limited english.
I love girls with bright red or pink hair. I suffer from depression too. It's just a part of life for me.
goosebumps all the way through the video. This really is the best video gamespot ever made. thank you for making and sharing this video with us danny.
Thank you Gamespot, and thxQ Danny.....i think im trying to escape to somewhere that give me something in return but dint effect my real life..like death,sickness,family,love,money ....yeah im sad, but it does help me get through the day...and stay happy...yeah games does help me..in a way
interesting RE : Fallout 3, I find everytime I try to get into that game it depresses me. I liked it, until I made the mistake of watching The Road, which was the most depressing post apocalyptic thing ever. When I tried to play Fallout 3 I was reminded of the movie, and couldn't do it. Studies have shown people who are depressed who are exposed to negative upsetting images are strongly affected by them. More so than "healthy" individuals. I guess I lived that.
Living with depression, anxiety and all that crap, I can say video games help me. But I find when I'm depressed, I don't play a lot of games, cause they're just not as fun, and my concentration level isn't there which makes it hard for me to get into a game. Weird stuff.
I really wish this video spent some time actually explaining depression instead of just conflating it with sadness or other disorders. None of the people in this piece exress their symptoms of real depression. Even Danny himself only explains his OCD symptoms, which should not at all be conflated with medical depression.
Video games can reduce depression, but can also amplify it. I usually play for the escapism effect the games have and I have been depressed a few times while playing, sometimes the game reduced my depression leaving me with a clear but tired mind state, other times it didn't help one bit, I just got more frustrated and down by gameplay. So it depends on the type, source and magnitude of that paticular depresive state that youre in and also on the type of game you play while being deppresed. One particular game may reduce your depression while another might increase it. And sometimes no matter what game you play, you still remain deppresed or get worse. I then try other distractions: out going, tv, random messing with suff, a long conversation with a friend, anything not directly related to the source of the depression. I'm a old school gamer with 18 years of gaming experience. I play for fun but also to win, so I'm quite familiar with the (gaming X depression = ?) formula and all other variants of it.
Sometimes video games can CAUSE depression. After the ending to Mass Effect 3 I was depressed for weeks.
This certainly was one of the most 'human' videos about depression and videogames I have ever seen. Most people just prejudges anything that might look like a problem, and the thing is, anything (even music or flowers or kittens or whatever) can be either a solution or a problem if it takes away balance from your life.
It's great that games can make people feel good and give them a sense of achieving something when they can't get that feeling in real life, maybe even keep you from getting a depression!
I find a lot f relief in video games during my low periods, and I have found that it's because games offer you a safe environment for trials and errors, while they put you in total control to reach very defined goals. They flush the brain with feelings of success when you complete something, while limit the consequence of failure to virtual worlds and simulated situations. Games are an amazing device for training the brain to focus on what you can accomplish and how to do it without all the intricacies, uncertainties and gray shades of right and wrong that exist in the real world. But just as anything that stimulates the reward impulses in your head, it can quickly evoløve into an addiction, and thus needs to be used with caution and preferably in collaboration with psychologists. Game on and stay happy!
I play video games about all day if i can and i just cannot stop thinking about it, and I play about 8 hours a day if possible. Its kind of turning into an addiction and im getting worried that this might change my whole life. I need to get tips on how to stay away from gaming
of course they don't mention the people that are so depressed, they play violent games and then go and shoot up a school
Wow this is great. Games are therapeutic, it's true. They help out with my bipolar along with all the medications.
@D1E1F1 Thank you very much, really appreciate it.
@boomer0901 there's a lot more out there in the world than gaming and being opressed. art, for one is a huge outlet.
@boomer0901 I can relate. Hope things get better for you.
@glimpus yeah i play less games when im depressed really hard to play a game when you can't get out of bed.
@Kitmas Very fair point, but I struggled to get this under 20 minutes as it is. The focus was to concentrate on the solution rather than the disorders. And having a shorter video encourages more people to watch it. But I agree, we did have to skim over a lot to achieve it.
@Kitmas It affects people differently, and each person in the video talked about their own experience. I'm horrible with names, but the pink haired girl shut down and couldn't go to school. The creator of Antechamber had extreme anxiety, which is very close to my own experience. Depression isn't a cold where you have a set list of symptoms. Often depression goes misdiagnosed or missed completely. I think this is a great video and it humanized depression instead of making it a clinical glance at a complex issue.
@zfazal84 Going through that now, glad it's not just me.
@TruSake Those are people with issues that go far beyond what games they play. Blaming said games is just a convenient way of distracting the public from a far deeper rooted societal problem. Ask yourself why other countries do not have this problem, yet enjoy violent games every bit as much.
Also ask yourself if it's right to blame one form of violent media yet not other forms of media which are equally violent and equally popular with young impressionable people.
Now lastly, ask yourself if it's right to criticize video games for causing violence in a country that has casually massacred people every day for decades purely for resources and political leverage.
Then get back to me.
Please put down your crack pipe and step away from it...slowly....
@TruSake There is no scientific data to prove that connection. In fact there is quite a lot that disproves it. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story eh.
@TruSake True, but this video is about how it can help those in need.
I do not believe in cause and effect regarding high school shootings and video games. I do believe in better gun laws.
@Ergandi my grandad was a millioniare get your bi polar like him
@Ergandi i get called bi polar but its depresstion
@lazyb5 for sure. when its at its worst its really hard to get out of bed, sometimes impossible.
@SkylabOne @TruSake And better knife laws too.. And car laws, and baseball bat laws, and fist laws, and hands laws (choking). And feet laws (kicking), and windows laws (people jump/push out), and roof laws (people jump/push off), and food laws (people choke).
Give me a break with the guns laws, a tired old argument that always does more harm than good in any semi-free society where criminals will ALWAYS have guns. Gun LAWS only ever affect LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. Criminals, by definition, do not respect gun LAWS.
@Ergandi sorry didnt mean to be harsh
Because gun laws do not make is so there are magically "fewer guns".
Also "fewer guns" does not matter either since I have a constitutional right to own and carry a gun.
Criminals will always have guns, because they do not respect laws, because they are criminals. Answer that problem instead of ignoring it.
Law abiding citizens should be allowed to defend themselves and people around them by responsibly carrying and using guns.
The reason there are so many shooting sprees is because there are more and more so-called "gun free zones" in which any coward with a gun can go in and kill everyone if they want to. If more responsible people owned and carried guns, less and less mass shootings would happen.
Cops can never be everywhere, therefore people will die until the cops get there and decide to take action, or maybe they'll keep getting shot until they run out of bullets, since cops are usually trained to stay alive, and mass outside while people are getting killed, raped, etc., inside. That's just what they do.
More guns in the hands of trained, responsible citizens is the answer, not more stupid gun laws that accomplish nothing but punishing law abiding gun owners.
@BWX232 When do people learn that fewer guns is a proven solution to fewer gun problems?
Where I am from it is difficult for people to get a license, and even then it is prohibited to keep most guns at home. You can only have a license to shoot at a range, for fun, educational purposes, or competition. The guns stay in a locker at the range.
Coincidentally a shooting did happen at my local shopping mall two years ago. Seven people died, I knew some of them. Still, it was the first public shooting in my country in decades. School shootings do not happen at all.
In the United States there have been four public shooting in the last three years alone, more than 50 people died, more than 100 injured. There have been 11 school shootings so far THIS YEAR, multiple people died and got injured.
So please, I would love to hear the reasons why tighter gun laws are not a solution?