Posted in Quiet Stories, Thoughts About Video Games

Spyro, Depression and Nostalgia

For people with depression it can often be hard, “to feel good.” Some people have massive lows and then a few ups, while others, because of various chemical imbalances, may never feel TRULY happy ever again. Some turn to medication, others recreational drugs and many more just struggle through unaided.

During my own experiences with depression I’ve found one act fairly therapeutic. It’s called nostalgia. If you genuinely struggle to find things in your life that make you happy, try remembering what used to make you happy. When I was a kid I loved watching anime and Cartoon Network. I played with toys and I read books. When I get low I try to re-experience those times. I collect video game replica’s that remind me of games from my youth, or re-watch an episode of Naruto.

I genuinely find it helpful, even if other people think it’s a little childish. I’d like to share one story in particular. When I was a little boy, 7 or 8, I got my first ever console, a PlayStation 2 from Santa. The only game I got with it was Spongebob Squarepants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman. It was a fine game, but I got stuck on the third level relatively quickly and to this day can’t work out where the fuck Sandy is.

However on Boxing Day I took the money I was given for Christmas and went to my local EB Games. I ended up buying Tarzan and Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer for PlayStation 1. This confused my mum, since I’d just been given a PS2 and so why would I want PS1 games? But I insisted that they would work. Spyro 2 was one of the first games I ever played, and it was magic.

On Christmas day, nearly 15 years later, I played the Reignited Trilogy. Spyro moved how I remembered, played like I remembered and looked how I remembered, despite a clearly fresh coat of paint. Playing this simple game about a young dragon took me back to a simpler time. A time when I was far less stressed, not worrying about taxes and just at the beginning of my journey exploring gaming.

When you look forward and only see darkness, look back and remember the light you once had. That’s one of the best pieces of advice I can offer.

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