What is the appeal of depressive material?

Could be in games, movies, books, whatever. Also, for the purposes of this thread you can equate 'depressive' as meaning 'very grim' as well. What do you believe is the appeal of depressive fiction, be it in terms of tone or subject matter?

I can't really put my finger on why I usually like that kind of stuff. I loved the atmosphere in Limbo for example, and by a number of moments in Chrono Cross I already had the impression there was no universally 'happy' ending to be found in that game. :/

I guess it's because it's easy to relate to for those who've had some experience in life, while it can make some people feel better by seeing how such things play out in fiction. For writers of this material it can be cathartic or a fun experience. Can't really say beyond that though.

Do you like it when games, movies and books seem to try and create an atmosphere where nothing really seems to escape the clutches of grimness? Why?

Mostly because people are going through a phase, and they like to surround themselves with music and sights that are similar to what they feel.

I went through a phase like that, and I pulled my curtains closed, put Linkin Park in my CD player, and just stared at the ceiling.

But some other people just love grimdark, that I cannot explain.

I have no idea! So I'm curious to see what people answer as well.

Limbo was an amazing game, you can make any atmosphere work if you do it right

It is a way for people to feel that certain emotion, and in feeling that emotion. . . they feel human. This sort of stuff doesn't draw me in, but there is a thing called a "bawww thread" that some people who frequent a certain site might be very familiar with; these threads emphasize sadness, and the feeling these threads give are undescribable.

Again, this type of stuff doesn't appeal to me, but I just know why people are drawn to it.

Well, what is the appeal of non-depressive material? Or of that in the grey area? Or of any material for that matter? Various people have various tastes, and that's not counting people who are going through a phase where they can't stand to look at happy stuff around them, but need something grim to relate with (and I believe people turn to relating with art much more when they're sad than when they're happy).

Personally, I like "grim" stuff a lot, as I find it much more enriching and inspiring than something else. It shows the human struggle and emotions in the worst situations, it shows how even the worst thing that happens can be overcame and shows how whatever state you're in, there's always something worse that could happen. Depressive material tends to show a much bigger variety of possibilities, behaviours, choices and emotions, it's engaging in much more ways than something else. After watching/reading/playing something grim, I feel like a lot of questions are present, especially if there was no happy ending. "Everyone lived happily ever after" is something that doesn't require any additional thinking or analysis; in a way, I find it blank and shallow. There is of course also the idea of anything mysterious, dark and unknown being attractive as it tingles our curiosity and makes us ask more questions.

Of course, this is only my point of view and, as with everything, there are exceptions from the rule.

Schadenfreude. It makes me feel better that I don't have it that bad.

HassEsser:
It is a way for people to feel that certain emotion, and in feeling that emotion. . . they feel human. This sort of stuff doesn't draw me in, but there is a thing called a "bawww thread" that some people who frequent a certain site might be very familiar with; these threads emphasize sadness, and the feeling these threads give are undescribable.

Again, this type of stuff doesn't appeal to me, but I just know why people are drawn to it.

Thanks for the input!

It kinda reminds me of Butter's reaction in South Park when he got dissed by his supposed girlfriend. He said that the pain made him feel human and that he'd 'rather be a crying little pussy than a faggy goth kid'. I'm guessing there's similar logic in the appeal of grim material.

I wouldn't say I inherently prefer "light" or "grim" stories, I just like good written ones. Such which make me feel for the characters and keep me in suspense. If a story is funny, I'll laugh along, if it's tragic I might shed some tears. But I don't 'experience' (couldn't find a better word overarching all the media) funny stories for the sake of feeling better or sad ones for the sake of feeling depressed.

The last thing that you want to surround yourself with when you're depressed is happy things that tell you everything is good in the world. You just want to get the idea that you're not alone and want someone to say what you're thinking.

I dont usually like grim stuff, but Berserk hits the right spot. Unlike usual angsty stories, in that the hero is as merciless as the world deserves. I hate stories where the protagonist is constantly the victim.

Depressive music is usually the most creative, interesting and beautiful. I also think that it works better than happy music as a way of lifting your mood for a lot of people.

I went through a phase like that, and I pulled my curtains closed, put Linkin Park in my CD player, and just stared at the ceiling.

Is Linkin Park depressing? When I think depressing, I usually think of stuff like this- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMJNCjxfsPo

For me, the really depressive stuff, sometimes you feel really good after crying for a bit.

TehCookie:
Schadenfreude. It makes me feel better that I don't have it that bad.

Really?! No empathy... at all??

OT: I believe it's as simple as greater emotional impact. One's natural state is one of vague contentment (i.e. closer to happiness than sadness) and when depressing shit hits, it mostly hits very hard. Then, when you finish, you're suddenly rather appreciative of your circumstances (provided at least some shit's going your way in life). And it consequently sticks with you, much more so than those rather vapid comedies that seem to pervade recent times.

SckizoBoy:

TehCookie:
Schadenfreude. It makes me feel better that I don't have it that bad.

Really?! No empathy... at all??

OT: I believe it's as simple as greater emotional impact. One's natural state is one of vague contentment (i.e. closer to happiness than sadness) and when depressing shit hits, it mostly hits very hard. Then, when you finish, you're suddenly rather appreciative of your circumstances (provided at least some shit's going your way in life). And it consequently sticks with you, much more so than those rather vapid comedies that seem to pervade recent times.

I have empathy if the writer does their job right. I'm not going to care for something just because of the circumstances, I need a better reason than that.

TehCookie:

SckizoBoy:

TehCookie:
Schadenfreude. It makes me feel better that I don't have it that bad.

Really?! No empathy... at all??

I have empathy if the writer does their job right. I'm not going to care for something just because of the circumstances, I need a better reason than that.

That's fair enough, depends what you go into it for... entertainment or the experience/challenge. Honestly, when I indulge in escapism, being entertained is often a secondary requirement... *shrug* Courses for horses...

I like 'depressive material' because it makes me reflect more on life and the situiations people face.

Also, material which is happy, where people overcome all obstacles and where the main characters don't die in war, often uses an ex machina... It just doesn't reflect real life and doesn't show an awareness of what turmoil and evil can cause.

The parts about emotion seems to sum it up for me.

Go back to Aristotle talking about tragedy.
Catharsis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharsis

 

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