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Games that have helped you through a difficult time in your life

Elephant

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,059
Nottingham, UK
Sometimes we use entertainment as a comfort or distraction from our real lives, whether it's a song that helped you through a breakup, or a film that gave you a laugh when you needed it the most.

I was thinking earlier about what my favourite games are and my mind eventually landed on Telltales Walking Dead (Season 1). It is, of course, a critically adored fantastic game, but the reason it resonates with ME so much is because I played the whole thing shortly after my dad died. Lee & Clem's relationship was so pure and loving, fighting together through a messed up world, with Lee teaching her and moulding her every step of the way. So when the ending comes, you know Clem is prepared to face the dangers head on, on her own.

That moment when the credits rolled, and i'd had a very good cry, was the first time since my dad died that I'd felt the weight go. That acceptance had crept in. I knew everything was going to be alright. I'd been prepared by my dad for everything life has to throw at me.

So I'm wondering, has there been a game for you that has helped you through a difficult time in your life too?
 

@TheFriendlyBro

IGN - Video Producer and Editor
Verified
Aug 1, 2019
219
Persona 5, it was long enough to distract me from IRL stuff and the characters you befriend in game are great.
 

Van Bur3n

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
14,085
Skyrim got me through a bad breakup. Happened on the day of its release and I remember coming home from GameStop with the game and just tossing it aside because I didn't give a shit about it. Then in the middle of the night I decided to just play it to get things off my mind. Played until morning because I was having so much fun.
 

Mike Rambo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
267
Philadelphia
Both NieR games, The Silver Case, RE2make, and Hollow Knight are all examples for me from recent years. From dealing with losing a large amount of people very important to me, to the struggle of getting work, they were there to help me believe in life and that things will get better if I make them better.

CSGO for me, helped me a large bit through my depression.
I tend to play csgo when I’m steeped in depression actually (so literally every day, in other words)
 

Aestivalis

Member
Nov 4, 2018
1,902
Demon's Souls when I had to work over 80 crunch hrs a week. It was just work and Demon's Souls during that period.
 

kittens

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,716
Games have offered distraction and escapism, but I'm not sure if any have truly helped me.
 

Komo

Member
Jan 3, 2019
3,726
I tend to play csgo when I’m steeped in depression actually (so literally every day, in other words)
Yeah it was the only way I could have communicated with others and made friends so I really relied on it. That and GMOD, I still know all the people that put a positive impact on my life and we've become pretty damn good friends because of it.
 

Palidoozy

Concept Artist at Maxis Texas/EA
Verified
Sep 17, 2019
31
Austin, Texas
I feel kind of stupid saying it, but Undertale. That was a period in my life where I was very alone, had no one to lean on, and was very depressed. I felt alone and hopeless. I had suicidal ideation.

Undertale served as a kind of hope spot, because.. yeah, you can do some dark stuff in that game. But you could also choose to be good, and the game rewarded you with a fluffy, happy ending, where everything works out and anime is real. And it was the choice, I think, that got to me. The kind of realization that I deeply cared to be a good person in a goofy video game where you date a skeleton helped me cope and realize that hey, maybe I wasn't such a bad person after all.

The issues I had weren't solved by Undertale in any way (I got diagnosed with Bipolar type II later that year)... but they kept me going, and sometimes that's all you need.
 

TubaZef

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,637
Brazil
Wandersong, last year my dad was just diagnosed with cancer when I started playing it, really helped me to think about things and bring me some optimism.
 

Aesnath

Member
Oct 27, 2017
736
Symphony of the Night. Each time I start it again, I try a different weapon or level a different familiar. I just like revisiting the game, I find it comforting when other things suck. Reminds me of my adolescence, I guess.
 

Horror

Member
Nov 3, 2017
1,834
Grand Theft Auto V

The absurdity of the game reminded me of the absurdities and uncertainties of life.
 

takriel

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
4,495
Pokemon Ruby and Saphire, Zelda Minish Cap, Fifa 2003 helped me after my mother became psychotic.
 

DarkChronic

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,376
Not sure if this counts, but watching Giant Bomb content a few years ago helped me get through a bad breakup. Those guys (and gal) do so much more than they will ever know and I'll always be grateful for them.

But gameplay wise, definitely the Animal Crossing games. New Leaf specifically, which was around the time of said breakup. Something so peaceful and relaxing about that game.
 

Alcotholic

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,421
I immersed myself in the Last of Us during a break up. I beat the game twice over the course of 3 days. Once before breaking up and once after.
 

Jogi

Member
Jul 4, 2018
261
Dark Cloud. It was a game my grandpa and I would play when I was a kid. When he passed, playing it felt like the most natural way to cope.
 

h0tp0ck3t

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,259
Ironically Danganronpa 2 broke me so badly it made me seek out help for my depression. Now I'm doing alright
 

JDFaulky

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,109
World of Warcraft helped me through a big, devistating breakup when I was younger. I could just log in and get sucked into the world and forget about my woes.
 

Nitro

Member
Nov 2, 2017
267
Grand Theft Auto V helped distract me from unpleasant realities for a while. The pause menu music would sometimes have the opposite effect though.
 

Phobosite

Member
Oct 31, 2017
152
My father passed away the beginning of 2010, so a lot of games that year I associate with the grieving/healing process. Ones that stand out are Fallout New Vegas, Persona 3 Portable and Pokemon Heart Gold. That entire year is mostly a blur outside of remembering those experiences, but they've stuck with me and became some of my top favorite games as a result.
 

Villein

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
993
Persona 4 and Bloodborne, both helped me during bad times in my life and let me focus my mind elsewhere. Currently when i'm feeling down I play BotW
 

Akumatica

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,377
When Okami came out I was going through the darkest period of my life. It saved me from harming myself and I feel it's a very life affirming game.
 

machtia

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4
Animal Crossing New Leaf came out while I was studying for the bar exam. It was the perfect 30 minute distraction every few hours, and it’s the only reason I stayed sane.
 

Tam o shanter

Member
Jun 2, 2019
26
Dark Souls really helped me during a particularly lonely part of my life. I had just dropped out of college and I had moved back in with my parents. I had no friends around me and I had a lot of time on my hands. The souls game offered an opportunity to become immersed in a very rewarding experience as well as all the lore and story around that. It was something that I really needed at the time.
 

Laver

Member
Mar 30, 2018
178
(...)

That said, Pillars 2 will always have a special place in my heart as it carried me through a very difficult time - I got run over by a car 10 days prior to its release, and I was in both immense physical pain and tremendous emotional distress as my face was looking like that of Billie Russo, so an immersive 50 hour long game that could help me ignore all that (if only a little bit) was godsent at the time.
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Aug 16, 2018
275
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild kept me going on some grand adventure when I thought my own adventure was over.

Child of Light helped me to come to terms with a death in my family, and yearn for something beautiful and true.

In many ways, I'll love these games more than I can put into words with how they stood by my side in difficult times.
 
Dec 20, 2017
310
The WCW and WWF AKI games on N64. They all came out while I was in high school and experiencing a lot of bullying and racism on campus. It triggered a social anxiety that I didn't have before and that I wasn't able to shake until my late 20s. However, in high school, I always played the AKI games with a handful of great friends and it would really help me be myself again. Even when I played them alone, it would remind me that I had friends who cared for me.
 

Unkindled

Member
Nov 27, 2018
1,851
Dark Soul's , YS VIII and Ragnarok Online, Pokemon. All of them helped me in their own way in dark times.
 

Halfling

Member
Nov 1, 2017
2,434
Fallout New Vegas with depression. One time I had such a bad week, I bought some beer and frozen pizzas and played it from 11am Saturday to 9am Sunday without realising...
 

Scotia

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,799
UK
Persona 4 Golden got me through my university dissertation film, no doubt about it. After spending two weeks filming, arguing, crying and wanting to quit uni the only good thing in my life was to come home and return to Inaba. I'll always hold it in a special place in my heart because of when I played it.
 

fbnaulin

Member
Mar 15, 2018
225
Breath of the Wild. Post-separation from a 10-year relationship (with 1 child). Hard times. That game was therapeutic.
 

Gilver

Member
Nov 14, 2018
2,647
Costa Rica
Right now my situation is pretty dark and yesterday I played Okami and gave food to some animals, which was kinda nice. That game is beautiful to look at.