Throwback Thursday: The Game I Feared The Most

Welcome to the first post of 2020, guys! Today, since people are still probably busy with the new year rush, I’m going to make this another short but sweet post. Today, I bring you an anecdote from my teenage years: an anecdote of coincidence, anxiety, and…. Video games!?

See, I’ve always loved video games. I’ve been playing them since I was five at minimum, often joined by my male friends in my basement playing Sega back in the day. However, as mobile games for things like GBA and other such things became more prominent, I too spent long hours with a mini console in my hand. And one day, the game I’d put into that mini console gave me the fright of my life.

It was a DS game that promised to be an interesting series of puzzles. Its name? Trace Memory. But what scared me wasn’t the ghost hero- it was the very human heroine. Let me tell you why.

It started off as a fluke to me. The heroine, Ashley Robbins, had the same first name as me (in case you forgot, Jaluna is my pen name!). Big whoop- Ashley was the most popular name for girls in the year I was born. There were plenty of girls named Ashley, right?

Then, we found out Ashley’s birthdate. It was the same as mine! Looking back, I know it was just reading the data off my DS, but for the longest time I almost felt like I was being stalked. Especially when the story began to unfold.

The story starts with Ashley going to look for her father on a mostly deserted island with her aunt J. She was under the impression for a long time that he was dead. It just so happens that, for my 14th birthday, I was living with my own aunt J. And, my dad was in and out of comas when I moved there- I had no idea if he was going to survive or not, and it scared me. So, the aunt’s name and my dad’s health made me feel more and more like this game was not about just any Ashley- it was making a mint off of me.

To be fair, I do have schizoaffective disorder, which as my doctor explained, means I have a mood disorder while having notable schizophrenic tendencies. That includes paranoia (well, that and my generalized anxiety disorder). Mixing together my anxiety and paranoia, I began to struggle to play the game. It was enthralling, so it was hard to stop- but every fiber of my being was terrified I’d find more personal information in it.

Eventually, I stopped playing it. I regret that decision now, as its always haunted me- both the game’s effect on me, and the fact that I never found out the ending. But now that I lack the game (I lost it like I do sometimes)… Well, I miss it, and wish I’d just been a trooper and stuck to it.

Have you ever felt like a game was similar to your life? Or maybe a book? Share in the comments your spooky tales of something hitting too close to home! I don’t want to think I’m alone in this… I’m not, right?

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Jaluna

A young adult who writes as a way of life, and treats all her characters as her children.

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