Kontroller: Actual Sunlight
I wanted to get up here and talk about a pressing issue that tends to be glossed over, or ignored, or even better, misinterpreted constantly. The concept of being depressed is thrown around left and right in everyday conversation, yet most people using it don’t necessarily feel that way. For instance, “The fact that I can’t go to that concert is depressing,” or statements along those lines.
Depression and similar feelings of inadequacy are not to be taken lightly. It isn’t a game, but more so, in many cases, a life or death situation.
Well, perhaps I have just lied. It now is, indeed, a “game”.
Developer and publisher Will O’Neill’s new game Actual Sunlight gets right into the grit and pain of the dispirited person’s mindset. You follow the life of Evan Winter, a 28-year-old white male who works at a non-advancing job. He lacks friends, he lacks love, and he lacks support throughout this entire venture. As you trek to work and back everyday, you meet the people he associates with, and learn about their complications as well. In between are little bits where Evan speaks his mind, and his thoughts, which skate on the lines of suicidal, are not for the faint of heart. This title is only for mature individuals over 18, as there’s strong language and suggestive themes present.
Along with Evan’s story, Will O’Neill personally addresses those interacting with the story who might feel they can immediately relate, especially the younger player population:
“This game is not a game: It’s a portrait. I’ve created it to document something that I think is human and beautiful and real, and if you appreciate that, great – that’s what art is.
“But don’t get it twisted. It’s about a 30-something corporate dead-ender with no youthful energy, no people his own age who haven’t move on in life that he can turn to, and no time or money left to change or undo any of those things.
“I don’t care how fucked up you think your life is: If you aren’t at least 25, that ain’t you. So don’t. Don’t you fucking dare.”
I will say if you are truly depressed, it would not entirely be wise to play this initially, as Evan’s thoughts could compound onto your own. However, for those that don’t understand individuals who suffer quietly like Evan does, this story serves as a potential inside view, so you can better understand where the despondent are coming from.
This game is available on Steam for $4.99, and is playable in five different languages.