Depression Quest, an interactive fiction game about dealing with the peaks and valleys of depression, has finally made its way to Steam this week. Available for free, Depression Quest is the creation of Zoe Quinn. The game was originally released on February 14 of last year, but had to wait until January of this year to get the "greenlight" from Steam.
Quinn said earlier this week in a blog post that she and her colleagues strongly considered delaying the game in the wake of comedian and Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams committing suicide. The concern was that releasing the game while news of Williams' untimely death might be construed as trying to take advantage of the publicity surrounding his death. But ultimately Quinn decided that releasing the game and raising awareness about depression was more important than any heat she might take from releasing the game this week.
"I'd rather have people flood my inbox with threats again and call me a monster if it means that one person who was shocked by today's news and maybe thinking of trying to reach out and get help could use this tool I've made to take the vitally important first steps towards clawing their way out of the hell that is this disease," Quinn wrote.
"If I was sitting down across a table from someone who asked me 'how could you release the day Robin Williams took his own life?' I would know how I could answer," she added. "I'd know why I did it, even if I felt conflicted about doing it. But if I sat down across from someone who asked 'How could you hold back on releasing this game when I needed it?' I would feel ashamed."
The Steam product page for the game describes it as "an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression." Through narrative and sparse still images players are given a series of everyday life events to navigate while managing their illness, relationships, their work, and possible treatment options. The goal of the game is to show others suffering from depression that they are not alone in their feelings.
You can find out more about Depression Quest on Steam. While the game is available for free, those who find it useful can give a donation to support it and the developers who made it at www.depressionquest.com.