Doom Mapping as Emotional Therapy

Art has always been a way of Letting Emotion out (i.e. How Metallica made St. Anger) the inner Monster you wanted to let go.
Art has also been used by many Clinical Psychologist to relieve stress or even anxiety disorders.

I've experimented with mapping therapy with "Valentine Violence"; About some issues i had.(see: http://www.doomworld.com/vb/wads-mods/67377-valentine-violence-a-valentines-day-map/) It actually made me feel better for a while, and I eventually got over it.

Now, do you think DooM mapping can be used as emotion and stress therapy? Have you done this before (intentionally or unintentionally)?
Do you think Emotion has a way of seeping into your Maps, or made a map that embodies your inner emotions?

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Of course yes, in fact, i'm working on a ZDoom map that represents in some way my fear and one of the worst nightmares i've experimented, map united b the analogy.
Map is an art, personally, I represent the worlds that are in my mind, the worlds that I don't want to visit and the ones I would like to, places that makes me feel nostalgia, etc. I really feel fine after mapping.

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I've noticed my maps take on a number of moods, and in some cases shapes emerge that seem to crudely reference sexuality, claustrophobia, real life locations, technological fusion; additionally, the maps cross heavy exploration with immediate assaults. My insecurities and fixations weave themselves into the maps (the maps themselves representing places I like to visit in my mind) and I find the whole process very cathartic.

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GoatLord said:

I've noticed my maps take on a number of moods, and in some cases shapes emerge that seem to crudely reference sexuality, claustrophobia, real life locations, technological fusion; additionally, the maps cross heavy exploration with immediate assaults. My insecurities and fixations weave themselves into the maps (the maps themselves representing places I like to visit in my mind) and I find the whole process very cathartic.


Interesting take on mapping, I usually find that I make better maps when I'm emotional (and Time, lots and lots of it), it manifests in different ways into the gameplay as well.

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And the Thread Of The Year award goes toooo...

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No emotions in my mapping, save for that one level with ten thousand revenants after a flurry of posts complaining about everyone's favorite clown pants wearing skeleton.

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Mapping can definitely relieve stress.

Level editing in video games isn't art.










St. Anger isn't art.

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Coopersville said:

Mapping can definitely relieve stress.

Level editing in video games isn't art.










St. Anger isn't art.


Yeah i definitely can, help through my issues, and I think it can be art since it has visuals, conveys emotions, and even has Music for some mappers who can compose as well. **cough cough// Jimmy**

St. Anger ... We Differ in opinions with that one, but i'll leave it at that.

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I make easy maps to be easy on the player because I am tired of playing a great megawad that just all of a sudden rips you open and rips your insides out.

I also hide little confessions in maps, though mostly they are extremely cryptic in nature and often hidden outside the map boundaries as a way of getting things off my chest.

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mrthejoshmon said:

I make easy maps to be easy on the player because I am tired of playing a great megawad that just all of a sudden rips you open and rips your insides out.

I also hide little confessions in maps, though mostly they are extremely cryptic in nature and often hidden outside the map boundaries as a way of getting things off my chest.


Interesting, so you put literal messages in your maps, that's another way to let out frustration.

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jazzmaster9 said:

Interesting, so you put literal messages in your maps, that's another way to let out frustration.

And a great way to admit some very deep secrets about yourself. I just recommend putting them very cryptic or very basic (no personal information like last names, information or places). In fact I even hid 5 letters next to numbers that are designed to spell out something, if anybody were to find it and decode it in this released map then they would exactly know what I meant by putting it but that is all they would know.

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I feel that mapping is an art form, it's just that some are maps are more arresting and provocative than others. I go out of my way to fill each map with contrasting, eerie shadows and lights. I really love creating strange and unsettling moods through the use of light.

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I love trying to make maps with an ambient atmosphere while using coloured lighting and contrasting shadows to help with the effect.

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jazzmaster9 said:

Art has always been a way of Letting Emotion out (i.e. How Metallica made St. Anger) the inner Monster you wanted to let go.

St. Anger was shit. Metallica were clearly not emotionally involved with that record.

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BaronOfStuff said:

St. Anger was shit. Metallica were clearly not emotionally involved with that record.


I personally loved St. Anger, I felt there was actually too much emotion there and it took the better of the band members and the production team, I personally connected with it though, but I digress

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Not only is St. Anger a boring joke of an album (though not as shitty as Lulu), but Metallica's work on the whole is Metal Lite. Even in their heyday, numerous thrash/speed bands outdid them on a regular basis. Their most classic albums are stale in comparison to the chugging brutality and energy of Slayer, Exodus, Kreator, Rigor Mortis, Overkill, Slayer, Metal Church, Pestilence, Vio-Lence and so may others who were active throughout the 80s. Metallica is plenty talented, but they're a fucking bore if you're a metal nerd like myself.

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I'm not familiar with the album being mentioned, but I'm just dismayed whenever a conversation -- particularly about art -- gets sidetracked with matters of taste. It's a pointless conversation.

Re the OP: I never thought of it in those terms. Mostly I just feel like I need to get some map ideas out, and am thus compelled to boot up DB to exorcise them from my brain. Like draining puss from a boil.

Would be interesting to do some psychology on people's maps. Although for that, you'd need some pretty in-depth knowledge of Doom, Mapping, and psychoanalysis. Which is a pretty rare combination, I'd gauge.

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I don't think Doom mapping at all equates to modern stress-relief therapy or even basic anger management techniques, but it certainly helps one to unwind, that's for sure. There's absolutely an inherent satisfaction in creating entire worlds of one's own, in which the rules, settings and general themes are yours to govern.

And that's not to say that our emotions or egos don't ever take a part in creating those worlds - after all, they are some form of artistic outlet dictated by our view of the world, how we play the game, and possibly our feelings at the time of creation. My take on it is that Doom mapping can feel therapeutic, as it certainly is an easy, leisurely activity in which we can let go of certain things, get the serotonin pumping again, and just let our creativity flow - but it is absolutely no substitute for therapy.

If it's actual emotional therapy you need, due to anger problems, self-esteem issues or perhaps even a nervous disorder, then that's what you need to seek out first and foremost.

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schwerpunk said:

I'm not familiar with the album being mentioned, but I'm just dismayed whenever a conversation -- particularly about art -- gets sidetracked with matters of taste. It's a pointless conversation.


Yeah, Let's stay on Topic guys :)

Jimmy said:

I don't think Doom mapping at all equates to modern stress-relief therapy or even basic anger management techniques, but it certainly helps one to unwind, that's for sure. There's absolutely an inherent satisfaction in creating entire worlds of one's own, in which the rules, settings and general themes are yours to govern.

And that's not to say that our emotions or egos don't ever take a part in creating those worlds - after all, they are some form of artistic outlet dictated by our view of the world, how we play the game, and possibly our feelings at the time of creation. My take on it is that Doom mapping can feel therapeutic, as it certainly is an easy, leisurely activity in which we can let go of certain things, get the serotonin pumping again, and just let our creativity flow - but it is absolutely no substitute for therapy.

If it's actual emotional therapy you need, due to anger problems, self-esteem issues or perhaps even a nervous disorder, then that's what you need to seek out first and foremost.


You are correct, There is no real substitute for the real thing. Deep psychological issues cannot be helped with art alone, but for less intense cases such as my self, Mapping is a way of just letting go.

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Yeah, I took 'emotional therapy' in the title in the same way I'd interpret someone casually saying they're feeling 'depressed' or 'OCD' or any other number of psychological terms that people use casually. So yeah, I consider Doom mapping emotional therapy in the same way I would consider a hot bath beneficial to my psyche. Let's not get all Doomworld on the OP, hehe. :P

Moving on, and still speaking unclinically, I find time-consuming maps (over two months to complete) somewhat taxing. Especially if I feel I've hit a wall, and am just plinking about until inspiration hits again. Maybe that's just me, though. So yeah, "Doom Mapping as a Stressor" might be the title of a post with an alternate thesis.

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schwerpunk said:

Moving on, and still speaking unclinically, I find time-consuming maps (over two months to complete) somewhat taxing. Especially if I feel I've hit a wall, and am just plinking about until inspiration hits again. Maybe that's just me, though. So yeah, "Doom Mapping as a Stressor" might be the title of a post with an alternate thesis.


Well it Depends on the Doomer, "One maps Trash is another's tresure", I'm with you that I hate long maps, but some people really like playing through those. What stresses you out can depend on the person.

and Yeah "Doom Mapping as a Stressor" may be another thread altogether.

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I make some of my map designs to punish certain players:

An example would be that I leave a mancubus behind the door past a horde of monsters, this is to punish anybody who would try to run past them all (By sandwiching them between the manc and the monsters)

Another one would be a very tight trap that I use to punish the unwary players, if you are not paying attention you will wish you was.

Doing bastard things like that is some real good stress relief knowing you just fucked somebodies play through up.

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mrthejoshmon said:

I make some of my map designs to punish certain players:

An example would be that I leave a mancubus behind the door past a horde of monsters, this is to punish anybody who would try to run past them all (By sandwiching them between the manc and the monsters)

Another one would be a very tight trap that I use to punish the unwary players, if you are not paying attention you will wish you was.

Doing bastard things like that is some real good stress relief knowing you just fucked somebodies play through up.


Somethings are funny when they are not happening to you.

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I do not know how DooM mapping can help relieve stress. If anything it causes me stress from the random bugs from DooM Builder 1.

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I can't map if I drink too much, so sometimes I drink less if I want to make a map, does it count?

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I find it intensely cathartic to explore environments that I and I alone crafted. I hope one day to share with you folks my maps, which are mostly 99% done but still have tiny little things that need to be addressed.

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GoatLord said:

I find it intensely cathartic to explore environments that I and I alone crafted. I hope one day to share with you folks my maps, which are mostly 99% done but still have tiny little things that need to be addressed.


I really feel this is true for me as well, lately I've been mixing my emotions with my casual mapping, my recent experience is still having it's effect on me.

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