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

Mekanos

Member
Oct 17, 2018
10,738
After flunking out of college, partially due to being suicidal, and coming home with no plan on what to do, I replayed Pokemon Platinum. Empoleon, Scizor, and the rest of my team helped distract me and entertain me while sorting out my feelings and uncertainty. I poured dozens of hours into the Battle Frontier. It’s probably the single best experience I ever had with a Pokemon game, and part of why I consider Platinum my favorite in the series.
 

Unaha-Closp

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,649
Scotland
Don't have a game, sorry, but the TV Show Farscape helped me out a lot. Was struggling with my worst prolonged period of depression and the hijinks of Moya and Rygel etc was very helpful to my sanity. Gamewise maybe MGS but less impactful from a helping perspective compared with Farscape.
 

Grimace McRib

Member
Oct 27, 2017
248
Cincinnati, OH
Destiny. I stopped being social while going through my divorce, locked myself in my room after work every night. Gave the game a shot even though it was this repetitive grind. Decided to raid and force myself to socialize with others. It truly changed my life at that time, I'm very grateful for it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,172
United States
I used to play donkey kong country games to bring floods of nostalgia back and be happy but the past few years, all the nostalgia does is bring back memories of better, happier times. All it takes is Aquatic Ambience or Stickerbush Symphony and I start crying.
 

Bunga

Member
Oct 29, 2017
634
I had a break up around the time of the release of Deus Ex Human Revolution which I had already been anticipating greatly as a huge DE fan but I just got sunk into the game completely because of the break up and the fact it was a fantastic game. I completed it 3 times in succession including the no alarms no kills run. It was a really special game for me, still is.
 
Shadow of the Colossus. There was a time where I just wanted to be alone for a while after a traumatizing incident, and riding around that vast open land on horseback was strangely therapeutic. I didn't kill a single colossus for the longest time, just explored and farmed fruit/lizards/etc. It helped me get through quite a bit, somehow. (Didn't hurt that the rest of the game was phenomenal either. I'm still in awe of that soundtrack and that ending.)
 

elenarie

Developer at DICE
Verified
Jun 10, 2018
2,443
So I'm wondering, has there been a game for you that has helped you through a difficult time in your life too?
World of Warcraft, Life is Strange, Starcraft 2, Bioshock Infinite and Wolfenstein The New Order.

WoW and Starcraft 2 for the community and support.
Life is Strange for the love and sadness and the relationships.
Bioshock Infinite and Wolfenstein for the love and the loss of love.

I was basically going through a breakup after almost getting to the point of asking the girl to marry me.
So the breakup (almost 6 years relationship) hit me really hard and I lost about a year of my life due to being alone, isolated, depressed and disconnected from the world (also leaving my home country and coming to Sweden (so I didn't know anybody nor had any friends)), and the games sort of helped me get through that.

EDIT: But more importantly than providing escape, the games in a way presented me "people" / characters that were going through a similar loss. Those events helped me see things from different perspectives, and grow empathy in me for other people and more importantly, myself.
 

Luchadeer

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,973


Ratchet and Clank on the PS2. In the span of a year I broke up with my fieancee, and two of my closest friends passed away. I was in a bad place, and one of my friends could see it.
They came over to my appartment one day, just to drop off a copy of Ratchet and Clank in the hopes that it would cheer me up.
It was the first time I had truly smiled / laughed in months, and it was in fact a turning point for me that year.

For close to 16 years I've had a tattoo of Ratchet and Clank on my arm as a constant reminder to myself, that no matter how terrible things get you need to find time to laugh.
 

Perona

Banned
Oct 31, 2017
343
Animal Crossing Wild World. There was a period where I didn't have access to computer/internet and was super depressed and it gave me something to do every day after school instead of just lying in my bed doing nothing.
 

Finale Fireworker

Love each other or die trying.
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,262
United States
I tried to commit suicide when I was in my early 20s. My attempt was thankfully not successful, but in the wake of my attempt I was extremely depressed. The sort of unmoving, uncaring, and unfeeling depression where you have no real concept of self, time, or others. I was in a management position at my job and had the luxury of going to work, closing the door, and not saying anything to anyone the entire time I was there. I have had other depressive episodes since then, some that were even worse, but this was the worst I'd ever felt at the time.

I worked with someone who'd previously I'd been very cruel too. I did not like him. I gave him bad hours. I made him do the worst kind of work. I blamed him for things that weren't his fault. He and I were pretty tried and true enemies. But he was really depressed too, and had been for a lot of his life, which I didn't know. When he saw me in the state I was in, his hate for me turned to pity, and he has recounted to me how he thought to himself that it made him sad to see someone else as miserable as he was.

I'd fallen out of gaming at that time and hadn't really played seriously for many years. But in an effort to connect, he bought me a stack of used video games that he really liked and encouraged me to play them. One of them was Red Dead Redemption, a game I'd never had any interest in or drive to play before. I looked down on games like Grand Theft Auto and perceived it to be "Grand Theft Auto with horses." I decided to play it anyway.

Playing Red Dead Redemption was an experience unlike anything else I'd ever done. At first I found it awkward and unwieldy. It was hard to control. It was hard for me to get navigate. I regularly found myself lost and unskilled in the wilderness of New Austin. I did not have fun for my first several sessions. Unsure of where to go or what to do most of the time, I simply picked flowers in the wilderness. I'd ride my horse until I saw a flower, get off my horse, pick the flower, then ride away until I found another flower. I did this for hours on end. I don't even recall what flowers do in Red Dead Redemption 1. But I collected every flower I saw. I had hundreds of flowers. When I hit the inventory limit, I'd just drop them or sell them (I don't recall) and just start over from zero.

This sounds boring, and it was weird behavior, but it was really helpful to me. The world of Red Dead Redemption was vast and empty and natural and beautiful. I really enjoyed exploring it. I really enjoyed seeing what was out there, riding my horse, and picking flowers. Every day when I got home from work, no matter how late I worked that day, I would play Red Dead Redemption until I was too tired to stay up anymore and then I would fall asleep.

I played RDR1 for an entire fall and winter. I stretched the game for months. I wasn't always having fun, but it was preferable to how I was feeling otherwise, and I was able to stop being me for a while and me John Marston instead. Over the course of those several months, one flower at a time, I crawled slowly out of my depression pit and back in to reality. I liked playing RDR. I liked talking to my enemy-turned-friend about it the next day at work. I liked thinking about it when I wasn't playing it and I liked looking forward to it all day. That helped me a lot. It kept me preoccupied, and gave me something to anticipate, and it took me out of my head in a way nothing else could.

I don't think I would have made it out of that period with RDR, John Marston, and all those flowers. I believe that Red Dead Redemption saved my life. It was what I really needed back then. No other game has ever been exactly what I needed at exactly the right time ever since. I really hope the game is remade or remastered or re-released in some way. To this day I've played it exactly once. It would be nice to play it again.

Still very good friends with the guy who gave me the game. We see each other a couple times a month and complain about work and video games. He's like a brother to me now.
 

Z6E1Z9O

Member
Oct 28, 2017
45
Battlefront 2(2005), i was getting bullied everyday in school by students and teachers and my only getaway was this game, i would go as far as saying that this game along with the original battlefront on psp and lego star wars saved my life.
 

Kawngi

Member
Oct 30, 2017
556
Honestly, World of Warcraft probably saved my life. It's been a cause of some issues, but the positives have outweighed the negatives for me.
 
Jun 7, 2018
339
The Stanley Parable profoundly and tangibly changed my life when I played it a few years after a marriage breakup and job loss happened at the same time, which had led to around three years of nervous breakdown, depression and PTSD.
 

KayMote

Member
Nov 5, 2017
632
Super Mario 3D World and The Legend of Zelda A Link between Worlds

I think they were released even on the same day here, which was the perfect combination for me to get invested in videogames to get distracted from a heavy break up.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,029
Chrono Trigger is prob the big one for me. I've used it to get past some tough times in my past, and it helps the game is my favorite game of all time. It instantly brings me back to a better more carefree time and has a tendency to make me happy or bring me out of depression more.

More recently though, Stardew Valley is insanely relaxing and easy going. It also somehow gives me nostalgia for the SNES days even though it was released only a few years ago.
 

JohnnyMoses

Member
Oct 27, 2017
603
I tried to commit suicide when I was in my early 20s. My attempt was thankfully not successful, but in the wake of my attempt I was extremely depressed. The sort of unmoving, uncaring, and unfeeling depression where you have no real concept of self, time, or others. I was in a management position at my job and had the luxury of going to work, closing the door, and not saying anything to anyone the entire time I was there. I have had other depressive episodes since then, some that were even worse, but this was the worst I'd ever felt at the time.

I worked with someone who'd previously I'd been very cruel too. I did not like him. I gave him bad hours. I made him do the worst kind of work. I blamed him for things that weren't his fault. He and I were pretty tried and true enemies. But he was really depressed too, and had been for a lot of his life, which I didn't know. When he saw me in the state I was in, his hate for me turned to pity, and he has recounted to me how he thought to himself that it made him sad to see someone else as miserable as he was.

I'd fallen out of gaming at that time and hadn't really played seriously for many years. But in an effort to connect, he bought me a stack of used video games that he really liked and encouraged me to play them. One of them was Red Dead Redemption, a game I'd never had any interest in or drive to play before. I looked down on games like Grand Theft Auto and perceived it to be "Grand Theft Auto with horses." I decided to play it anyway.

Playing Red Dead Redemption was an experience unlike anything else I'd ever done. At first I found it awkward and unwieldy. It was hard to control. It was hard for me to get navigate. I regularly found myself lost and unskilled in the wilderness of New Austin. I did not have fun for my first several sessions. Unsure of where to go or what to do most of the time, I simply picked flowers in the wilderness. I'd ride my horse until I saw a flower, get off my horse, pick the flower, then ride away until I found another flower. I did this for hours on end. I don't even recall what flowers do in Red Dead Redemption 1. But I collected every flower I saw. I had hundreds of flowers. When I hit the inventory limit, I'd just drop them or sell them (I don't recall) and just start over from zero.

This sounds boring, and it was weird behavior, but it was really helpful to me. The world of Red Dead Redemption was vast and empty and natural and beautiful. I really enjoyed exploring it. I really enjoyed seeing what was out there, riding my horse, and picking flowers. Every day when I got home from work, no matter how late I worked that day, I would play Red Dead Redemption until I was too tired to stay up anymore and then I would fall asleep.

I played RDR1 for an entire fall and winter. I stretched the game for months. I wasn't always having fun, but it was preferable to how I was feeling otherwise, and I was able to stop being me for a while and me John Marston instead. Over the course of those several months, one flower at a time, I crawled slowly out of my depression pit and back in to reality. I liked playing RDR. I liked talking to my enemy-turned-friend about it the next day at work. I liked thinking about it when I wasn't playing it and I liked looking forward to it all day. That helped me a lot. It kept me preoccupied, and gave me something to anticipate, and it took me out of my head in a way nothing else could.

I don't think I would have made it out of that period with RDR, John Marston, and all those flowers. I believe that Red Dead Redemption saved my life. It was what I really needed back then. No other game has ever been exactly what I needed at exactly the right time ever since. I really hope the game is remade or remastered or re-released in some way. To this day I've played it exactly once. It would be nice to play it again.

Still very good friends with the guy who gave me the game. We see each other a couple times a month and complain about work and video games. He's like a brother to me now.
Great story and I’m glad you made it through that. I hope you’re doing better now! Have you played RDR on the One X? Looks pretty great in 4K.
 

Randroid

Member
Oct 28, 2017
246
Celeste for me. Played it when I was dealing with my own anxiety issues and I felt that game really spoke to me personally.
 

Sumio Mondo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,123
NieR (the original, not Automata). Was going through an awful few years of my life then. That game, the music and its characters really spoke to me on a personal level.
Deadly Premonition too. Especially with the melancholic ending. I really escaped into that game's world at the time.
 

Scrub Jay

Member
Nov 28, 2017
193
I played through the Quest for Glory series during my first major episode of depression. I would play from midnight until dawn and sleep until evening. The QFG4 ending theme playing on loop is about the only positive thing I remember from that time.
 

ShinUltramanJ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,456
More like systems, and for me that was the GBA SP. My wife was extremely ill and I came very close to losing her.
All of those months in and out of the hospital...time spent in waiting rooms, I had the GBA SP with me.
I still remember spending five hours in a waiting room, playing Advance Wars. It gave my mind a break from everything that was happening in our lives.
 

Scrub Jay

Member
Nov 28, 2017
193
Also the last thing I did when I quit drinking (both times shame) was play a video game.

First time was Resident Evil 4.
Second time was Chrono Trigger. I distinctly remember feeling "this is good. I don't need to do this anymore." And then I stopped.
 

Zlug

Member
Oct 1, 2018
763
Mario Party 4. It helped, a lot.
I was bullied in school, had no friends, I did not want to go to school anymore etc etc.
Why this game? Because it's the game that introduced me to Waluigi. He was thin, tall, wore purple (my favorite color) and black and...was not particularly liked by the other characters except Wario. He reminded me of myself.
The plot of the game was to complete boards and at the end, you earned gifts for your birthday. So... as a kid I interpreted that as offering gifts to my only friend, Waluigi. And he was happy about it.

Well, after that I got a dog and he definitely saved me.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,546
AKI N64 Wrestling games: i was new to the states and to say that i was going through a culture shock is an understatement. Countless hours and nights playing these with people in my dorm kept me floating. i still own the carts too

Phantasy Star Online: a series of poor decisions had me take a break from college for a year and depressed. PSO teleported me into a world that remains one of the more magical experiences ive had. Met online buddies the year it launched who i still interact with daily 19 years later.

Fallout 3: wife and i were going through a tough patch in our relationship and this game was my escape from it all.

Destiny : i went into business for myself and the first two years were traumatic. Destiny gave me some semblance of optimism and i am grateful for it. Business is going really well now too :)
 

Finale Fireworker

Love each other or die trying.
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,262
United States
Great story and I’m glad you made it through that. I hope you’re doing better now! Have you played RDR on the One X? Looks pretty great in 4K.
I have not, but I have long considered it. To be honest, I was very close to buying an X1X as soon as RDR hit BC. But cost is prohibitive right now.

If it's never rereleased, I am pleased this means of playing it remains, and I'd seek to do so.
 

Gunblade47

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
449
Elder Scrolls Online

My partner and I split up and went our seperate ways a few years back and it was particularly hard because we were the best of friends for months before we decided to give dating a shot. We spent about half a year seperate and focused on ourselves and moving forward. Then when Summerset was announced I sent her the link because she loves elves in MMOs. She was excited about it and asked if we wanted to play together. The rest is a story of two friends reconnecting while trying to steal from every house in the expansion and me somehow always getting caught even when I wasn't the one stealing.
 

Bane

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,649
In high school a friend was killed in a car crash and Doom 64 helped take my mind off it some. I'm interested to see if the remaster brings back any of those feelings.
 

storaføtter

Member
Oct 26, 2017
596
These last years Nioh and Dragon Age Inquisition helped me through some difficult times. Was nice to be captivated and drawn into a game so much that it makes life more bearable.

Videogames have always been a way for me to cope. Most of my life I lived with physical and mentally abusive parent in a terror regime where anything we did could be wrong. Games made me cope with life and made me forget my troubles for a moment (except when the trouble was brought to you while playing). Sad as it is to say I am glad that I was allowed to play videogames at least.

Since getting out of the abuse these past years it has been difficult for me to be as captivated as I used to be. There are anomalies where I appreciate games that deal with abuse and depression in a good manner. They kinda can feel like so called book theraphy.
 

Ravelle

Member
Oct 31, 2017
6,014
Rocket League when I was burned out and nearing a depression, I got home numb a lot and Rocket league activated my lizard brain and it allowed me to just not think for a bit.

Life is Strange also vibed with me a bunch and the OST was a big factor too.
 

Raoh

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,890
Shenmue helped me destroy many chains that would keep me from going out into the real world and simply explore it by travelling to other cities/countries. That sense of exploration and independence really stuck with me.
 

Mindfreak191

Member
Dec 2, 2017
918
Gears Judgement and Mass Effect 3 helped me get over a bad break up while at the same time dealing with the loss of a family member.
 

djinn

Member
Nov 16, 2017
3,245
Most recently Katamari Damacy REROLL. I don't handle stress very well and I was particularly stressed at the point of time I started playing it. There was something immediately therapeutic about spending 20 minutes to half an hour bundling up every single piece of junk I saw around me and turning it into something beautiful. Coupled with an amazing soundtrack and I always finished my sessions with the game feeling more relaxed and happier.
 

teruterubozu

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,373
Sid Meier's Pirates. I actually played it just before a very difficult time. I remember I finished a marathon session and my guy grew old and died happily at the end of the game. Then in the middle of the night I got a call that my father passed away. It was a difficult time of course, but something about the positive finality of my game character and my father passing away that night told me that everything was ok and that my father lived a fulfilling life.
 

Osu 16 Bit

Member
Oct 27, 2017
403
Chicago, IL
I played The MISSING: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories at the peak of struggling with my gender identity. It had a profound effect on me.
 

petethepanda

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,649
only in theaters
Undertale helped to pull me out of a pretty significant nosedive, giving me my first sense of purpose and creative energy in years. I guess in the long run it may not have helped very much, but it's certainly the most a game has affected me.
 

Tbm24

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,301
Overwatch. I have had an extremely, and I mean extremely rough past 2 months in my personal life and night grinds playing OW genuinely kept a lot of bad thoughts out of my head.
 

Tharp

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,806
It's not the game you'd think of when it comes to comforting, but League of Legends helped me get through my mom's breast cancer diagnosis. It was something I could focus on and it would make my brain detach from all the emotion and thinking about the what ifs. That logical thinking and engagement that mobas or strategy games require was really helpful in that time of my life.
 

Retromess

Member
Nov 9, 2017
64
Marvel Heroes was my absolute rock for late 2015 - early 2016. I had recently move with my fiancé, was in between jobs or working a crappy part time job, so that game was absolutely perfect as a way to pass the time mindlessly and help overcome my anxiety and depression of leaving a bunch of friends behind when we moved.

I'll always be sad that that game is completely gone. No other game has properly taken its place :(

I've tried many other free to play or even purchased Diablo-likes but they never scratch the itch quite the way that game did. The Marvel licensing was no doubt a big part, but the game just felt different from something like Diablo or Path of Exile.
 

Blakhavoc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,392
Colorado
Persona 5 and BoTW. I was playing both around the same time during a break up with my gf of 2 years plus I was struggling with just figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. Both of those games have a sense of relaxation and calmness to them that no other game has given me. I’ll forever love both for the tough time they helped me through.
 

Mur2thetaugh

Member
Dec 12, 2017
171
Soul Blazer. a when I was younger my grandma was dying from pancreatic cancer. It dealt with such subjects as the cycle of life and the inevitably of death. It helped ease my mind knowing that I would see her again in the next stages beyond this life. I know that this seems very silly. But it was the first time ever losing a family member and discovering what cancer was.
 
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