If there is any positive to take out of this year, it’s that there is a growing awareness on mental health. I’ve seen people who never took mental health seriously before in their lives finally acknowledge it for the first time. Often times this is because their own health has been on a serious decline through this, the undeniably worst year in a long, long time.
So in these rough times, people are looking for anything no matter how small to give them a little joy, hope, or just a reprieve from the sadness around us. Speaking personally, the summer months saw my worst state of mind in my life, and while I have been okay lately, depression rarely stays away. Enter: Feather the video game.
I pre-ordered Feather just days before its October Release. I bought it because it looked like a peaceful game that I can relax to. For one reason or another, I hadn’t played it until 2 nights ago and it has impacted my life in a way I never thought a video game could.
I immediately found myself soaring through the skies of this tranquil island. No enemies to be found, no objectives, nothing you were supposed to be doing. I was just flying around as a pretty bird, chirping when I saw another bird. But I didn’t realize that the other birds flying around were also other people.
So here I was at 3am on a Monday night, listening to the game’s incredibly calming soundtrack flying around. And I was perfectly content to just do that. At times I would perch up on the edge of a tower, sitting for moments and looking for another bird. Soon, a bird landed next to me and spoke in bird language. I didn’t know this person, I didn’t know their story and they didn’t know mine. And although we had no real means of communicating, I imagined them saying “Hello, I hope you’re doing okay in these hard times.” And with my bird sounds back, I wanted to say the same. We sat there for maybe 30 seconds or a minute, before one of us flew off, and explored more.
Today I found a bird that seemed extremely excited to see me. They kept circling back, talking to me and then flying off. I decided they were telling me to follow them. Moments later we were soaring deep underground in this elaborate cave system. Soon enough, I saw what they were doing. They did want me to follow them. They had led me to a portal underground that would take us to a new island, one that I didn’t know existed. (Video of the journey with this friendly stranger)
We lost each other quickly after going to the new island, but I was overwhelmed with the peace and beauty that this game had to offer. Suddenly, other people didn’t give me anxiety. We didn’t argue about politics or masks, or about petty things that people are jaded about. We were birds flying around, enjoying the beauty around us.