I decided to try playing both interactive games for this assignment.
I understand why a lot of people wouldn’t want to play the Depression Quest game, particularly people who have gone through this in their lives. The story feels so real because of the interactivity that places you directly in the game, which can be too difficult for people who have suffered with this mental illness before. However, I think the reality of this game is what makes it a valuable learning experience for people who do not understand what it’s like to go through depression. It might feel uncomfortable, but sometimes the only way you can truly understand something that you haven’t gone through yourself is by going through a simulation like this. It feels real, and that’s what makes a game/simulation like this one powerful storytelling. As I said, it’s difficult and uncomfortable and might not be the best option for some people, but for others, I think you can learn a lot from this. It wasn’t easy for me to go through the game, but I wanted to find a way to help my character improve her mental state, and I learned a lot about the ways you can do that in reality.
On the other hand, Choice of the Dragon was completely fictional, but the interactivity makes this game interesting as well. Besides the content itself, I think some people might be more interested in this game because of the way the content in Choice of the Dragon is split up. As you go through the game, there typically isn’t a ton of background text before each decision, and sometimes there were only a few sentences. With Depression Quest, there were usually multiple paragraphs of text before each decision. This was necessary for that subject matter, but with digital media, people expect short chunks of text and that holds their attention longer. Although this was a fictional game dealing with dragons, I still think you can learn a lot about who you are as a person if you make decisions based on your actual personality. Or, you can learn the results of doing something completely different than you would in real life. You can take risks in an interactive game like this and learn a lot from the process.
Overall, I think digital storytelling is an effective way to immerse readers in a story and learn. Although it is not easy thing to deal with and not for everyone, you can learn a lot about serious topics like mental illness by putting yourself in that position and learning how it actually affects people and what you can do to help. Even with Choice of the Dragon, even if you just consider it a “fun” game, you still learn what consequences come from different actions, and those personality traits are applicable in real life.