Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George t…

Read more

GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

Read more

A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

Read more

The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

Read more

A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

Read more

Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

Read more

A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

Read more

Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George t…

Read more

GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

Read more

A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

Read more

The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

Read more

A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

Read more

Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

Read more

A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

Read more

Mean Girls. The Video Game.

This is so fetch.

It’s been 10 years since Mean Girls first hit screens, becoming an instant classic that is as quotable as it is hilarious. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reference a line from the movie, use a .gif of Regina George to respond to something, note that the limit does not exist, or chastise someone for trying to make something happen that’s not going to happen. This is one of those movies that truly defines a generation.

Today it finally becomes a video game. Cue every gay squee noise I can muster.

meangirls logo

Via So Much Drama Studios:

“If You Have Ever Felt Personally Victimized by Regina George, This Game is For You

Designed as an easily accessible ‘tiara-defense’ game, Mean Girls finds the original Plastics at peace with their world, when a new upstart Plastics clique attempts to take control of North Shore High School by piecing together the broken Spring Fling Tiara. Players can select from eight of their favorite Mean Girls characters—Cady, Regina, Gretchen, Karen, Janis, Damian, Aaron, and Kevin, each with their own distinct boost abilities—and all the cliques from the cafeteria, to help defeat opponents and complete each level.”

The mobile “tiara-defense” game is not unlike your standard tower-defender: You place troops, you set up traps, and you keep the oncoming hoards of enemies away from their goal. Only this time around your troops are who you hang out with and the enemies are the opposing cliques.

Comic mean girls

While it may not seem like an obvious genre to slap the Mean Girls name on, it’s actually quite clever. Just as in the original film the cafeteria is a carefully mapped out warzone, with factions ranging from the Varsity jocks to the girls who eat their feelings to the burnouts to the Plastics. And just as Lindsay Lohan’s Katy Herron went to war with Regina George, players will go to war to protect their tiara from those who’d try to snatch it away.

Does this sound like the most fabulous game ever, or does this sound like the most fabulous game ever? Who would come up with such a game? None other than So Much Drama’s Jeff Medor, creator of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Dragopolis, one of our gayest games of the year two years running. As was the case with Dragopolis, Mr. Meador isn’t trying to make a lazy licensed tie-in game…he wants this to be a product that true fans will enjoy through and through.

Mean Girls is hilarious, brutal, and endlessly quotable; I absolutely loved watching and re-watching the film,” said Jeff Meador, founder and president, So Much Drama. “The game is rich with the quirky humor, over-the-top high school power struggles, and everything from hilarious lines, peppermint foot cream, to, yes, the Burn Book.”

Burn Book mean girls

No matter which clique players belong to, from band geeks and preps to regulation hotties, Mean Girls offers seven different ways to play including gameplay modes such as You Can’t Sit With Us, Social Suicide, She Doesn’t Even Go Here, and The Limit Does Not Exist.”

Mean Girls is slated for release on mobile platforms soon. I bet it will make for a great candy-gram.

And none for Gretchen Weiners. Bye.

Read more

GGOTY 2014: Gayest Games of the Year

Last year our Gayest Games of the Year list was quite popular, so why not do it again? Especially when 2014 has been an even bigger year for gay games than last year. While many of the 2013 titles had major queer themes not all of them had explicitly…

Read more

A different kind of Elven Rogue: a look at Sera

Note: This is the third in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Sera’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including her ultimate romance sub-quest.

Read more

The Legend of Korra series finale was a big win for gay geeks

If you haven’t already been hit with spoilers regarding the finale of Nickelodeon’s hit series The Legend of Korra be forewarned that this post is going to be chock full of spoilers from the moment you click ‘read more’. You have been warned.

The …

Read more

A different kind of Sophisticated Gent: a look at Dorian Pavus

Note: This is the second in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of Dorian’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub-quest…

Read more

Review: Coming Out On Top

You may or may not remember those “for girls” boardgames where you play a babysitter or whatever and you date boys…  They tended to have a few different kinds of boys, and you knew who they were the moment you saw them.  There was the blond goody t…

Read more

A different kind of Bodice Ripper: a look at the Iron Bull

Note: This is the first in a series of articles exploring the diverse cast of BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. The following contains details from all points of the Iron Bull’s sub-plot in Dragon Age: Inquisition, including his ultimate romance sub…

Read more

Preview: Read Only Memories

MidBoss‘ upcoming cyberpunk adventure game Read Only Memories – or ROM – is due for release next year, and, to give would-be players a little taste of what’s to come, they’ve released a playable demo over on their website – and we’ve taken a look to …

Read more
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February 20
2013

Sadness Is Not A Blessing: A Response To Depression Quest

by
Depression Quest
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I spent a lot of time lying on my kitchen floor in 2006 and 2007. Something about the ground helped me.

Everything in my life seemed heavier than it should, so why not just go down? Why stand when you don’t have to? The weight of coming out to my family, of choosing a college, of choices that seemed to finally matter and doing the one thing I’d always dreamed about – leaving – was more than I had prepared myself for.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. “Oh great. Another teenage sob story about how regular life is so hard. Get over it, kid.” Honestly, I thought the same thing. I was too embarrassed and proud to admit to the cliche and let someone help me or just listen. The logical option sat behind mental bars I had erected, so the kitchen floor was how I dealt with it all.

I didn’t start using drugs. I didn’t hurt myself. I didn’t run away. I just didn’t do anything. Problems festered as I put off conversations that seemed scary, let college deadlines slip by, and wondered what would happen if I never went anywhere. All the while, more and more of my time sunk into the cool tiles like the heat from my skin slowly slipping away until I shivered.

That’s what Depression Quest is about. The didn’t. The couldn’t. The can’t.

Depression Quest, created by Zoe Quinn and Patrick Lindsey and available to play at DepressionQuest.com, isn’t a game in the traditional sense. Instead, it opts for the interactive non-fiction label. Don’t be fooled by the genre, there’s more than enough meat here to hook you into and get your brain working.

The story is told through a series of scenes describing you, your partner, and your job, offering a handful of choices to navigate each scenario. Depression happens without a clear beginning, meaning players see a cross section of life with depression rather than a complete personal journey. Don’t expect a dramatic beginning and something you can point back to, saying “if I had only done that differently.”

There’s no goal or reason to move forward, you’re just alive and shuffling between your apartment and a 9 to 5 job. Sometimes you have the chance to go out after work, but sometimes the day’s exhaustion keeps you on the couch with a pizza and Netflix. Old friends pass through on occasion. You consider adopting a cat.

But am I describing the game or your real life? For many, Depression Quest lingers eerily close to home.

The game revels in familiarity. Many people don’t understand the insidious nature of depression and how sufferers can fail at normal circumstances so dramatically. You don’t like your job, your relationship suffers from a lack of communication, comparing yourself to other, more visibly successful people brings you down. These are problems most people face at some point, and common wisdom suggests simple solutions: find a more fulfilling career, speak with your partner frankly about important issues, and focus on your own accomplishments and goals instead of worrying about what other people do.

Except that, with depression, you can’t.

Depression Quest David Foster Wallace Quote

For anyone that’s never suffered from it, not being able to make good choices or even get out of bed may seem weird or unrealistic at first. The game acknowledges this. At one point, a character even tries to reassure the despondent protagonist with the classic puritan work ethic.

    “An attitude like that won’t get you anywhere. You need to work harder at getting what you want instead of sitting around feeling sad about it. Nothing good will happen unless you make it happen.”

Depression Quest doesn’t begrudge players who come into its narrative without personal experience. In fact, one of its main goals is education and expression for an illness that strikes one in ten American adults yet still suffers a harsh social stigma.

But depression prevents the logical, easy answer by continuously hammering away at your willpower. As such, Depression Quest presents everyday troubles to the player and even offers those “best” choices. You know what you should do and it is easy…until the debilitating self-defeating cloud settles in so that every current doubt coalesces with your last, stops you from acting, and helps create the next insecurity. The cycle of self-loathing and personal criticism drags you down, makes the best option seem out of reach, and pushes you to make the situation worse.

You lose because you’ve stacked the game against yourself. You can’t win because there is no winning. This is life and you have to play until the game ends.

I was lucky.

My encounter with depression eventually faded back into the general anxiety I carry to this day. A summer job literally took me away from my regular life and helped give me peace of mind. But a simple ending doesn’t happen for everyone.

When Depression Quest ends, it does so suddenly. You time in that role merely runs out. The situation could be worse or it could be better, but it’s done either way. That’s the final message the game’s creators have for us – this is a journey. And we’re on it together.

    “After all, that’s all we can really do with depression – just keep moving forward. And at the end of the day it’s our outlook, and support from people just like you, that makes all the difference in the world.

    Thank you for playing.”

[imgs via DepressionQuest.com]

2 Responses

  1. avatar Bill says:

    Thanks you for posting this. I have been struggling with depression for 20+ years now. This captures it very well. I re-posted it at another group I belong to.

  2. avatar Stan Lee Cube Rick says:

    Anyone interested in this theme should also check out the game Actual Sunlight.

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