I know it seems like a very big statement to make, but it’s true. So how did a video game save my life you ask? Well it’s very simple. It brought me out of this world and into another whole different one. I suffer from an anxiety disorder which drives me to comtemplate suicide from time to time (I know, social taboo and all that, but I’m tired of hiding it). I worry about things constantly and don’t like medication, even though it’s essential to get me through the day sometimes. However, I can take my solace in video games. With just a press of a button and the whirr of a disc, I can escape my problems and hide away in another land. I could change gender, race, species even. I could be a world class rally driver, or an adventurer in an underwater city. I could save the world with one hand, and destroy it with the other.
Escapism for me, is why I play games. I’m sure a whole legion of gamers will agree with me, that the best part of their day is getting home and switching on the console or PC – it’s their escape hatch from their problems. Sometimes it’s exactly what you need. It’s possibly why I am so vehement in my defence of video games and a real big reason to me why they do not deserve demonisation. Everyone is so intent to blame any violence in the world on these ‘vile discs’ that can give someone so much happiness!
It seems to be forgotten about the good these games can do. People have lost weight and gained confidence in themselves playing games like Just Dance and using the Wii Fit or dance mats (back in the day) and the Kinect. I personally improved very poor hand/eye co-ordination by playing Sonic as a child. That’s not to mention the social aspect. LAN parties are a great way to bring friends together and so is getting your friends round for a game of Halo. I just wish that those who oppose video games so strongly would stop focusing so much on the violent and aggressive aspects of games. They can do a lot of good in the right hands.
One video game in particular in fact, Skyrim. The stories and places in games can take you far, far away. In Skyrim, I can be in a land of dragons and Jarls and magic, so different from my own in a matter of minutes. It’s the perfect escape from a world that seems very dark and scary sometimes. There are so many reasons why people play games, ranging from the thrill of the competiton, to complete every challenge, to engage with a storyline… These are all valid reasons, and for me, the escapism I can get when I feel all is hopeless is priceless. So fellow gamers, pick up those joypads, get exploring new worlds, save the princess, do your thing.
It’s all yours for the taking and don’t let anyone say otherwise.