I’m a survivor.

Within my lifetime I’ve experienced friends dying to freak accidents and suicide. I’ve overcome a severe diagnosis (given only a handful of years to live). Pain, hurt, with both mental and spiritual anguish have been present for as long as I can remember. While I know things could have been worse, I definitely know they could have been better. I have fought to keep my well being in tact and I’m proud of the person I have become as a result.

I am a survivor.

Considering I’ve become a survivor, it makes sense that my favorite game in the world is The Long Dark. I’ve played this game through some of my darkest times and it has given me the space to grieve.

Believe this was the first time I had ever made it to the top of Timberwolf Mountain.

With a fantastic soundtrack, a beautiful world to explore, and a campaign that begs to be repeated (even though it’s not quite finished the last time I played), I have been playing this game since early 2015. I even vividly remember the first time I played where my character was dropped in the middle of the wilderness near Mystery Lake left to just “figure it out” with his own devices and no story for how I ended up there.

Now, after being Hinterland Studio’s labor of love for years, the game has since been added onto with a heart wrenching narrative and multiple game modes.

There are even nearly impossible achievements that I attempt from time to time. Though I wish the seasonal event achievements would be opened up to complete. (Hint hint Hinterland)

The game is a masterpiece and a testament to awesome creativity of its developers. So much so, that one of my favorite soundtrack collections on Spotify was inspired by the game.


I’m telling you all of this because this game has been in development for years. While they have moved on to being classified as “fully launched”, the creator continues to improve a bit by bit every day delivering on promises made years ago.

We all hope to improve a little bit every day, but that’s not always possible.

Some days just suck.

Those terrible days have a way of personifying the misunderstanding that is passion. Passion is not the the surge of energy that comes in a single moment, but the string of efforts in the events of everyday life. Passion is the struggle to survive in a world where giving up is incredibly easy.

Just because you have a bad day, week, or even year, does not mean that you are passionless. Those passions are what we all live for and strive to improve every day.

When you are in those dark times, treading through the wilderness of life, remember that what you tell yourself about your passions is infinitely more important than what you tell or show others. I’m sure that the even the expert folks at Hinterlands have had a few bumps along the way to create a wonderfully beautiful game.

I really hope that you found something to add to your everyday rhetoric and mental health repertoire. Just know that there are people who are passionate about your well-being even if you’re not. Let me know if you’re having a tough go of things and I’ll see what I can do. If anything, I’ll get you a copy of The Long Dark.

I also want to say thank you to the Hinterland Studio team. You’ve brought joy into many people’s lives and that’s including my own. Thank you.