We here at TRS care deeply about social justice, and the social justice issue of our generation, or maybe your generation (tfw old), is GamerGate. GamerGate is a firestorm of bigotry, patriarchy, misogyny, bigotry, cisheteroprivilege, and, most importantly, bigotry surrounding the doings of a noble heroine, Zoe Quinn, developer of Depression Quest. But we’re not here to talk about how Zoe Quinn fought off the patriarchy with nothing more than a few simple blowjobs. We here at TRS know there are much better sources for learning about GamerGate. All we know is that an innocent women was targeted by a bunch of misogynists for the simple crime of taking control of her sexuality and making womyn’s choycys with the lived experience of her unconventionally beautiful body, and we fully support that and any other decision she might make.
So what about the game? TRS fellow Michael Enoch challenged me to go beyond the limits of my inborn privilege and play this game, and what follows is the review. The short version is that this is to video gaming what the Sistine Chapel is to Renaissance art. The longer version is below the jump.
DepressionQuest can be played for free, although the game is easily worth at least 1488% more than that. I encourage you to make a donation at the page, because if you don’t, you are denying Zoe Quinn the right to control her uterus.
I was immediately blown away by the graphics. The stunning visuals act as a canvas of imagination onto which the developer’s vision is painted, sucking you into her world as though you were the throbbing cock of someone who could give her access to money and fame.
DepressionQuest uses a radical technology known as “animated .gifs.” This rendering technique, originally pioneered by 14-year-olds making Limp Bizkit fan sites on Geocities, allows an ordinary image to pop to life with vibrant motion right on your computer screen. I hope Zoe Quinn has patented this, because the rest of the game industry is going to want access to this even more badly than a thirsty game “journalist” wants access to pussy.
There are a lot of game engines to choose from—Unreal 3, CryEngine, idTech, etc—but Zoe Quinn and her crack team of ace programmers broke new ground by using TiddlyWiki. “Wiki” technology allows for various “sites” and “pages” to be linked together using ordinary-looking text that can be clicked on by a mouse. This allows the dynamic, evolving world of DepressionQuest to come to life in a way that games like Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto only hint at.
But enough about the technology? How’s the gameplay stack up?
You play as yourself, and you’re depressed. You have a partner, a girl named Alex. In a nod to more modern, advanced theories of social justice, your name, sex, and weight aren’t assigned to you, so I chose to be an enormously fat Muslim convert bulldyke named Syd. The cause of my depression wasn’t given, so I decided it must be because Alex is even fatter and uglier than Syd.
It quickly became apparent that really getting into this game was going to involve a lot of reading. I was a little triggered by this, because any game that requires reading is going to privilege whites and disproportionately exclude African-Americans. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to know what to choose just by scrolling to the bottom.
The HUD shows your emotional state, whether or not you’re in therapy, and whether or not you’re on medication. As a social justice warrior, I’m unfamiliar with the experience of not being in therapy or on meds, so this was an interesting look at a different side of the human experience. I chose to get a cat, but I was still pretty sad.
As I choose all the good-sounding options (the ones where I tell people my feelings, go to therapy, etc), my condition improves. For example, when my gf wants to bang, I choose the option that lets Syd grab the forklift, heave her into bed, and lick her fetid gash/double dildo her/whatever it is obese lesbians do. Well, I assume. I didn’t read the text. Anyway, I clearly feel more and more like going out and volunteering for Elizabeth Warren.
Allahu Akbar! I got the good ending! Well, I think it’s the good ending. It’s a better ending than Mass Effect 3, anyway.
I tried another playthrough, this time choosing every single bad option to see if I could get my character to kill xirself. I broke up with Alex, didn’t get a cat, got drunk instead of going to work, lost my job at the dildo factory, and blew off my IM friend. However, I still had a conversation with Mom, who made me go to therapy. So I think the ending is the same either way. However, the tapestry of imagination the game wove for me was every bit as rich, so props for that.
Obviously, this is an easy contender for TRS’s Game of the Year title, and if you disagree, you can check your cisgendered privilege, shitlord. What we can also see here is the difference between the old, busted model of game development and the new model. Old, patriarchal model:
- Develop game people want to play.
- Sell it to them.
New, egalitarian model:
- Queef out some shit on a website.
- Open your pussy to people with money and influence.
The former model has obvious issues, as it privileges people with technological expertise, talent, and discipline, aka “white males,” not to mention the problematic aspect of relying on revenue from selling to people who play games, many of whom don’t even know what “intersectionality” means. The new model, which depends mainly on having a vagina, upends the patriarchal system and establishes a new, more just order where you don’t have to develop an actual game just to be considered a game developer.
TRS final score (out of 5):