I just played Inner Vision for the second time. It's a Flash visual novel in which the player must talk three people through their depression and out of committing suicide. You get a few chances to choose responses that would be the most helpful, but after you choose incorrectly twice, you lose the game.
A long-lost friend sent me a link to Inner Vision when it first came out in 2013, and I remember losing over and over. I just couldn't figure out the "right" answers based on instinct or reasoning, and so many of the choices seemed the exact same or just arbitrary. How am I supposed to know how to reassure someone about their academic abilities when their parents paid for them to get into college? What can you say to someone looking for support about their sexuality when all of their friends and family have left them? The game's graphics, mechanics, and text are simple, but its deeper undertones are dark indeed.
Two years later, I'm at a very different place in my life. I've dealt with a lot of difficult changes, eliminated negative people from my life, and nurtured creative parts of myself that long lay dormant. And after I finished Inner Vision today, beating it my first time through, my first quiet little thought was that it felt strangely...easy. Maybe the game seems easy to many people, but the person I was 2 years ago couldn't see the answers very clearly at all.
Now a survivor of a toxic long-term relationship, a hard worker with goals and ambition, and an independent woman securely on the other side of 25, I feel like I've fought through a years-long war and gained invaluable wisdom along the way that I try to share whenever it is requested of me. My 30-something+ friends tell me the 30s are vastly superior to the 20s in terms of career stability, relationship quality, and overall happiness...maybe they're on to something.
Copyright Alexandra Lucas 2015