Suffice to say I owe gaming a great deal, without games I would be less equipped to cope with my everyday life.
This is part of why I adore video games and why they mean so much to me. You might be surprised to know that the reason that games help is not only because I enjoy playing them, it’s more than that, because as anyone who suffers from depression can tell you, there are stages when you detach yourself from things you love or lose interest in the things you once enjoyed.
That’s why I wanted to discuss video games and mental illness, both are part of who I am and many people have misconceived notions about both which I want to highlight.
Firstly, video games are not about sitting on a room on your own, in the dark, eating junk food and mashing buttons.
This dated image, often a male living in his parents basement couldn’t be further from the truth but the stigma still exists and it’s perpetuated by overly concerned parents and the media who often like to demonise games.
Many parents have accused gaming of making their children despondent and disinterested (singular things that a part of a whole spectrum of symptoms but [ but let’s be honest here, when you’re a teenager you really couldn’t care less about what adults think and are disinterested in anything they have to say, especially if that adult happened to be your mum or dad. If your teenager wants to spend time with you, that’s when you should be worrying.
Sometimes of course, there are days when sitting on your own in a darkened room and slobbing out while you play the latest first person shooter is entirely necessary, I certainly can attest to that, but generally speaking, games aren’t really like that these days. There is quite literally something for everyone, plus there’s more competition now than ever, so making your game stand out is paramount. the sheer scale and variety of games is overwhelming!
I’ve experienced attitudes from other adults of a similar age that were downright rude, surprised yet snobbish phrases like “Oh, you still play games? Who has the time for that? Don’t you have bills to pay and real things to do with your time?” or looks of disdain when you tell someone that you’ve booked time off of work especially for the release date of a new game (something I did recently for Fallout 4).