Tag Archives: video games

Dark Souls, Depression, and Death

So I wanted to start off my first blog post saying: Hi, I’m Matty and I’m a train wreck of emotions. Some of my posts will be rants while others will be analytical essays. This one will be an analytical essay of one of my favorite video game series of all time… Dark Souls. Now some of you might be saying, “Matty, what in the hell does this have to do with mental health?” Well, that’s where I’m getting at. I have… depression. God, saying the word just makes me gag. Depression sucks but you probably already knew that. No one wants to deal with it and it’s even worse when you have no one you can talk to about it. There was a time, before Lexi and I got together, where video games were my only friend. I found solace in video games. Games that made me feel some sort of emotion. Games that I could sit down and play and get invested into the worlds they had to offer and forget about all the problems in my head for just a few hours and just focus on this game I’m playing right now.

Dark Souls… Saved me. In fact, most recently, the third game helped me when I was going through a rough patch. I had lost a good friend of mine, my girlfriend at the time left me for someone who I thought was my friend, and I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. School was getting to me and I swear to god, I never felt more alone in my life. But there was Dark Souls.

Dark Souls is a depressing game. Your player character is a cursed undead branded by the mark of the undead, cursed to die over and over and over again until they are drained of their humanity and become a hollow. To become a hollow in Dark Souls is to become a shell of your former self. The more you die in Dark Souls the hollower you become. And trust me, you will die in Dark Souls, a lot. This may even cause you to never want to play again because of its extreme difficulty but that’s what I love about it. Dealing with depression is difficult. Like Dark Souls, you deal with depression by fighting or giving up. To fight is to push forward, and maybe even succeed, but to give up is to accept defeat, die and never play again. The game will punish you, but it also encourages you to keep going and try again and bring in friends to help you fight. Dark Souls almost seems to be an allegory for depression, and you know what, it is.

You have support in this life, you have people who care about you. Even when all hope seems lost, you do have people you can talk to. Just like Dark Souls, this world is a cruel and uncaring place but we can all tackle the hardships together. Talk to people, go out with friends, meet new people and don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling even when you feel like no one will understand.

Goodbye for now then. Be safe friends… Don’t go hollow.

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