Developer: Anton Tesh
Launcher Quote: “This is a small game about a time in my life when I was going through a lot of changes. I started journaling to handle my anxiety and help clear my head. It’s something that I still do daily and really helps me manage my thoughts.”
Today’s entry from Anton is a little closer to me because it hits up a practice that I’ve been doing on and off since about 2004 or so in blogging/journaling. I started out on LiveJournal, the choice of platform for that George R. R. Martin guy, and which was back in the day the premier place for putting things down if you didn’t have a website of your own to set up a blogging platform. My reasons for blogging haven’t really changed from back then – for me it’s a way of reflecting and thinking, of keeping my writing skill sharp, and, to a certain extent, as a cathartic exercise, a way of moving out what I have rolling around in my head and onto a page so it isn’t getting in the way or bothering me.
Making today’s game progress as it did, showing a calendar display which appears to depict a breakup, move, travel, and the anxiety that goes with it, was a reminder of what might happen if you don’t have something to channel those emotions. Anton tells us that journaling was the sort of turning point in dealing with the anxiety that he was going through, partially because it clears the head. I get behind this 100% because of one of the core principles of my productivity system, which dictates that if you have it in your head, it’s distracting you and you need to put it down in a system so you don’t forget about it or let it hurt you. The game shows a marked change in the way the days play out one the journaling starts and an eventual shift in mood of the person, who at this point had oscillated between weeping and being dazed about problems, and does it all without a single word. Who knew that emojis could be used to convey such a complex message?
All of this goes back to the game’s message, that blog therapy is a thing, but also, more generally, that coping mechanisms are important in dealing with adversity or mental health issues. I want to be quick to point out that doing things like this isn’t a cure-all – today’s mental health care is as multi-faceted as the complex emotions people feel when going through anxiety, depression, being bipolar, and more. But it doesn’t really hurt. It’s nice to be reminded of that today.