205/365 – Meditation Games #205 – Mental Dogfight

Developer: Skully Brookes

Launcher Quote: “Life can be difficult when you must fight the black dog.

It may seem easier to just give up.

But if you’re lucky, you’ll find someone who can give you the power to be able to defeat the beast.

I am grateful that on this day, such a person came into this world.

They would eventually enter my life and give me such power.

Defeating the black dog not only made me feel more power, but helped me see beautiful things which were never visible to me before.

Sometimes the black dog tries to come back, but while I have my 7 tails, I will always succeed.”

One way that people have been able to deal with the fact that they struggle with things like depression, anxiety, and the like is to envision those feelings and those difficulties as something tangible or visual, to give it form so that it isn’t something nebulous and invisible, and so that it doesn’t have as much power as it normally does over those that have to cope with it every day. It’s a technique that allows for people to be able to take action, to mentally be able to compartmentalize that vagueness of negativity into a single entity, so as to be able to symbolize what they try to ultimately do with it.

For the developer, this appears to be in the form of a black dog, a dark and hostile being that threatens to beat them down and keep them from doing anything or accomplishing goals, and also to see it as a constant battle, won by tenacity and determination. There was a distinct 2D fighter game element to this game, and even though the mechanics were still simplified it still captured the sort of frenetic, sudden pacing that such games can carry, as I dodged, punched, and jumped my way against the black dog opponent I had on the screen.

Appropriately enough, the developer indicates that they needed a support person, someone who could provide structure and backup to help fight this constant battle with the black dog of their psyche. The fact that they show up in the form of power ups and build icons that you get in some of the fighting games out there today just adds to that level of metaphor and symbolism that helps in being able to cope with them. Like many fighting games, sometimes this fight with the opposition in your brain is a long and sometimes constant process of trying to master it, but being able to have an adversary that is able to be touched and ultimately able to be defeated with the help of others is one of the best ways of at least keeping that adversary down until the next time they seek to challenge you for dominion of your mental well-being.

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