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Games Writer Says Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Saved Him From Committing Suicide

The Legend of Zelda fan and games writer Derek Buck has written an extensive piece on GamesRadar, explaining how big of an impact The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild had on him. Buck says things got so bad to the point where he was on the verge of suicide, but the latest Zelda game helped him cope with depression. You can read a few excerpts from his story below:

I can’t say depression is the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced because I can’t compare it to any other experience. It’s a daily struggle with pain and anxiety you never seem to win, and it consumes everything. Jobs, relationships, friends, dreams – it’s like a blackhole that sucks in all the things that mean something to you and tears them apart on a molecular level.

When you’re depressed, the world around you tightens and constricts until it feels like you’re locked in a closet with a burned-out light. Even though you know what things are around you, you can’t see those things the way you used to. You can’t see anything the way you used to, and the world becomes a dark, suffocatingly small place.

But Hyrule is the opposite. In Hyrule, the light is so bright, it seems to come from everywhere, shooting like beams from each blade of grass. In Hyrule, I was always on the verge of something new, a promise of discovery that freed my spirit from the two-ton anchor of my own thoughts. In Hyrule, if only for a few hours, I could breathe. Breath of the Wild had become very significant to me, and it had nothing to do with gameplay or graphics or any of the things critics like to drool over. Hyrule had become my escape. It provided me with a sanctuary from myself, allowing me to interrupt the pain and anxiety with comfort and peace; the hopelessness and defeat with courage and optimism. And the more time I spent there, the more therapeutic it became. The more I got to know Hyrule, the more it had to teach me.


41 thoughts on “Games Writer Says Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Saved Him From Committing Suicide”

    1. It is but depression usually has a root cause. You have to pull it from the roots or it will grow back like a weed. Botw seems like weed killer for him but I’m afraid the depression will return. I hope he gets te right help he needs depression is a serious illness.

  1. I’ve pretty much always felt this way about video games in general. I don’t even want to think about what might have happened to me without my video games. My games have been my only friend and companion for many years. Sadly, depression and anxiety has taken over my life. I’ve never had a regular life like most people. I’m almost 40 and have never truly lived. But enough of that.

  2. An immersion into a world more exciting than your own is the video game media’s forte.
    You can get similar input from a book or a movie, but you are always limited to the strict linearity of an author/director.
    Games do in my opinion, while of course being designed, immerse you more completely because of the fact that every move you make is by your own input.

    1. Infinite Kalas X3, The Sonyendo King {Sony+Nintendo=Sonyendo!}

      Very true. You can’t dilly dally with random quests or wanderings in a book or movie to distract yourself from the plot’s yellow brick road.

  3. Games have always been my escape. Especially Legend of Zelda games. I’ve never been to that dark hole because games have always let me escape whatever was haunting me at any given time. Good for this guy to escape that dark void and thank you video games and especially Nintendo for The Legend of Zelda and every other magical experience you’ve given me throughout my life!

  4. This is getting ridiculous. This kaizo cheap death game saved someone from suicide!?

    Slow news week……

    Meanwhile, I’m still waiting on Yooka-Laylee for Switch (because I am not buying another system), then the 3D Platformer Trinity will be complete.

  5. My uncle has been to that dark place and still visits periodically ever since a double whammy of two different health emergencies at once that could’ve killed him. I don’t know what he uses as or if he even has an escape.

    1. This was also a concern of mine. I think the fun of BotW’s gameplay and world is evergreen to an extent, though that might differ from person to person.

  6. This is how it was for me and Animal Crossing City Folk. My life made me feel like a caged bird as my depression grew with every passing day. Going online and meeting new players helped me socialize and explore without triggering my anxiety.

  7. Can’t say that I was seriously suicidal but I understand where he’s coming from. A couple years back I had a brief existential crisis and playing Terraria and Planetbase helped me relax. Games have always been an escape for me ever since I was a wee lad with a PS1 and N64.

  8. I’ve always credited Nintendo for saving my life (so to speak). Years ago, I was VERY overweight, and I didn’t really care much about living. I lived in depression, and didn’t care about anything in life (except video games). I was literally eating myself to death. Can’t believe how much I used to eat. I was in pain. My knees and ankles always hurt so much, and I was having trouble breathing. I couldn’t really do anything. I felt so worthless. I used to pour sweat even in the coldest of winter. I was miserable. This was before the Wii released, in April 2006.

    I started thinking about death, and about all of the great games and consoles I would miss out on if I died. With that thought (and also being sick of feeling like crap all the time), I said “THAT’S IT”. So I went on a major diet and dramatically cut down on the food (and getting a bit more exercise whenever I could). By October of that same year, I had lost 130 lbs. Greatest feeling and accomplishment I had ever achieved.

    Whenever my mom tried blaming Nintendo for me giving up and throwing my life away, I would tell her “you should be thanking Nintendo for SAVING my life”. The sad part of this story is, video games is still the only reason I care about living. And I’m still battling with my weight and depression (and horrible anxiety). Sometimes I do feel a little sad that I have nobody to play games with, and nobody that even knows that I exist, other than my family. But through all of life’s crap, loneliness and hard times, video games have always been my sanctuary. My escape. My safe place. My, well….everything. But it would be nice if some day I could find some other kind of happiness in the real world as well.

    1. Where do you live?

      We live in a world were TV and such direct our lives and the way we should be. Are we meant to find our Princess/Prince and have a happy life? We need the newest car/technology to be cool or in. We need to achieve certain level of what’s considered beauty in society and such…

      It is all BS. If you have internet and a PC, you are way ahead of many in this world. I swear i see so many people in depression and having a decent life, but way too blinded to see the good they have it or had had it.

      My dad was murdered when i was 7 y.o., i have 3 more siblings, my mom only did half of Jr High School. Sometimes she had no money to feed us, or just enough… now i am 30 yo and just the fact of going grocery shopping gives me happiness and comfort, buying my own stuff, my own car it feels like an achievement.

      Turn off your TV, it is better to be alone than surrounded by toxic people bringing you down, it always seems like the grass is greener on the other side. Make little things count, we always want what we do not have, it is very irresponsible to be like that. Be proud of what you have and the ambition to ear what you want.

      Just my thoughts. Without rain you can’t have a rainbow.

      1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

        ||Agreed with you human, too many of your species complain so much about their lives even though they have everything anyone that can survive alone should have…||

        ||They don’t know the true meaning of suffering…||

    2. We know you exist. And thankfully the community on here is pretty good. I’d suggest going to gaming events in order to find people that have the same interests as you.

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  10. Ladies & Gentlemen, this is the other side of the argument. People always say, “video games promote violence” & “video games are bad”.

    But with these testimonials I’ve just read off this article it clearly shows VIDEO GAMES CAN SAVE LIVES & PROMOTE GOOD WILL!!

    Yeah, it may sound corny. But nonetheless true!

  11. Pingback: Este escritor asegura que Zelda: Breath of the Wild le ha salvado del suicidio

  12. Pingback: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ha salvato uno dei produttori dal suicidio -

  13. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

    ||Nintendo is the path to purity and salvation…||

    ||How many times haven’t we heard about the great things the sacred N does for this planet, even if it disgusts me to no end, and unlike the Xbot disease that only wants to enslave you all, Nintendo promotes evolution…||

  14. Infinite Kalas X3, The Sonyendo King {Sony+Nintendo=Sonyendo!}

    Video games, movies, television shows, music, books, comics, comedy, singing, etc. Some people bitch about how these things cause some people to do horrible things (while that is true in rare cases, it’s usually not entirely on that product’s proverbial shoulders but something else that is wrong with that human.) Naturally, they are going to ignore the good things those products cause as it defeats their entire bullshit claims that “these things are pure evil & should be destroyed.” Whether it be video games, movies, TV shows, music, etc, some people have had their lives saved by these things. Of course, I’d suggest not relying solely on these things to help you as they tend to be distractions & sometimes all you need is a couple of seconds of not having that distraction before you are ending your life. The best thing you can ultimately do is talk to family, friends, or even to a doctor if your depression is causing you to have suicidal thoughts. The biggest problem many that have successfully killed themselves had was they didn’t talk to let the people around them know they have these thoughts swirling in their head. Talking to people that can & are willing to help is the best medicine as you can’t rely on the distractions forever.

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