What Happened Looks At Mental Health And Horror

Is this the real life?

High school is terrifying, at least, that’s definitely the case according to every show I’ve ever watched regarding it. It seems like you’re just as likely to end up in some weird vampire/werewolf blood feud, as you are donning a mourning cheerleader outfit, or developer superpowers and being hunted by someone named after a watch.  Of course, these shows seem to be fictional, and not documentaries, so it’s likely that these shows are designed in a way to feed on the innate fear that many people have while in high school. Things are changing all around you, inside of you, and you’re not really sure how to deal with it all. That’s enough to deal with, and is a reasonable excuse for any horror game anyway.

What Happened is an upcoming horror game where you take control of a teenager in high schoool called Stiles. He’s having a worse time than most because he suffers from “acute anxiety and depression”. I’m going to be honest with you here, as a horror game, What Happened looks interesting, the trailer shows off a lot of interesting twists and turns, and if it manages to be half as engaging as that then it’s sure to be a winner.

However, boy oh boy is it hard to do a depiction of mental illness correctly in games. The game includes a bunch of stuff I’m not going to mention here because I’d have to use a content warning, and I’m not 100% convinced they’re going to be able to pull it off in a way that isn’t just “aren’t mental health issues scary”. I’m hoping to be proved wrong about it, I want there to be good examples of this kind of thing in gaming. The one part that gives me hope is this “his fate depends entirely on your empathy”. Empathy is always a good thing, so, I’ll remain quietly hopeful for now.

Jason is the Editor of The Indie Game Website. He’s a lover of roguelikes, soulslikes, and other kinds of likes. He basically spends a lot of time getting beaten up in games and seems to enjoy it.

Jason Coles

Jason is the Editor of The Indie Game Website. He's a lover of roguelikes, soulslikes, and other kinds of likes. He basically spends a lot of time getting beaten up in games and seems to enjoy it.