The Invaluable Rise of the Talking Simulator

Charting the rise of one of gaming's most important genres.

by Joe Donnelly
Mar 3 2017, 9:17pm

On May 12, 2008 my uncle committed suicide. Even now, almost nine years on, that's a difficult sentence to comprehend.

Difficult not just because the thought of someone taking their own life—a close relative in this instance—is shocking, but also because it's hard to believe the best part of a decade has since passed.

The traumatic nature of the event has meant I find it hard to remember parts of my life before then—before my uncle was no longer with us, before I was so hypersensitive to suicide as it's acknowledged in modern media and casual parlance ("I felt like killing myself," a particularly unhelpful yet surprisingly common turn of phrase), and before I faced my own ongoing battle with depression and anxiety.

If there's any sort of silver lining to be gleaned from the experience, it's that I'm now generally better able to talk about how I'm feeling. Like most British males, I'm relatively reserved when it comes to sharing my innermost thoughts. However, I've found writing about my experiences cathartic—to the point where it's made chatting about the most sensitive issues in person a lot easier.

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