What has gaming done for you? GameSkinny community responds
Video games have become the top entertainment in many households across the world. They have connected people everywhere with multiplayer and online gaming tools. In some cases, gaming has created long lasting friendships and even helped people find their soul mates. Online gaming has made it possible for people to meet each other now, where the chances of them meeting before video games were slim to none.
For me, gaming was a way for me to escape into a world I could control. I started online gaming when I was 9, but I got intensely into it when I was 11. This was when I started middle school and, of course, no one really fits in then, but I –really- didn’t fit in. Kids found their way to bully me as most untamed children do. I slowly began a descent into depression. I had no friends, which meant I didn’t go out much. Online gaming became my outlet. Soon it became my way to make long lasting friends. Sounds a bit sad but I don’t regret it. I love the friends I have made through gaming because they have kept me sane all these years.
If anyone were to ask me “What has gaming done for you?” I would respond back, “It has given me a place I fit in at. I have friends that understand me and don’t judge me for who I am. When no one else wanted to be my friend I found friends across the world. It kept me from suicide at a young age because my depression was so intense. Gaming saved me in ways that non-gamers could not understand.”
So, I decided that since I feel this way, there must be others with a story to tell. Let’s hear about what gaming has done for the people at GameSkinny.
Well, besides giving me a job, gaming has given me a very accessible way to appreciate narrative. Be it tabletop games, my favorite cRPGs of old, or a quick game of Hearthstone - gaming is an easy way for me to engage with stories on a personal level (even multiplayer games generate stories, mind you).
And, honestly, I think that's enough. I don't think gaming needs to cure the world's ails or make you a better person to be worthwhile; I whole-heartedly believe a good story is well worth anyone's time and appreciation.
Gaming has taught me the value of independence. Being the gamer for all of my life I was never the popular kid. Even in a small town I never had a lot of friends. I used to think that was a problem. That I only ever hung out with a couple guys, I never had dates to this or that or a steady relationship. I've recently decided that it's made me better as a person. Where others crave physical affection and need to be around others, getting their high off of people admiring them I am perfectly glad to be by myself doing my own thing.
If I had never grown up with the ability to live so many lives (through gaming) I would be a hot mess. Instead of just chilling, doing my own thing and being happy about it, I would be out there trying to get that affection to no avail. Furthermore, everyone is told in school that you need to "be what makes you happy". When people try to do that, they get shut down. I can be whatever I want in games. I can get a taste of this or that and I know that I'll enjoy it.
The "real" world is so harsh and depressing but gaming makes the world revolve around the player, which can be nice for a change. If that's all too sassy for you, I've started this program where I've had over 100,000 people look at my work, and a YouTube page where over 40,000 people have viewed my videos and around 400 people (so far) are subscribed to regularly consume my content, all from gaming.
Well, I've been gaming most of my life. In the general sense, and sort of a long way to go about it, it put me where am I am now in life. There are 2 major things, though gaming in general could be linked to the first one which sort of ties everything together, though it is a stretch. I'm with my fiancé because we met in college marching band. However, I only decided to go to that college because of another friend I had in high school band. I was friends with him because we were both into games. If it wasn't for him, I would have never met my current fiancé, most likely.
Also because of gaming, I ended up finding GameSkinny. I have learned a lot about gaming journalism and the industry in general from being here. I also met a fellow fiction writer, which really let me find out more about my work and caused me to finally get work of my own underway. I probably would not have been able to spend the time I do on games if it wasn't for my fiancé, so I might never have even been here, and my writing might not have gone anywhere.
Last but not least Auverin's response,
Gaming was something I could always retreat to when things got really hard for me, which I think is true for a lot of people. But as backwards as it's going to sound, I honestly think gaming helped me come out of my shell. I was an avid reader before I was a gamer, and there are few activities more solitary than reading. I was a really lonely kid. I was shy and struggled to make friends. So I read a lot. And when you meet someone else who reads the same books, there's an instant connection. The same is true for games, but the difference for me was that I could actually share the experience of a game with someone else.
When I first started playing them seriously, I was very much a lone wolf who would only do single player campaigns or run solo in an MMO. And while there is some peace in that, it can get lonely too. And I was lonely enough in the real world that I didnt need to be lonely in my virtual ones too. So I've made a lot of good friends through my games, and those friends have consistently encouraged me to try new games and gaming-related things that I never would have otherwise. They push me to pick up a new title, or try out a shooter (which I'm usually bad at), or go on a mission that I don't feel like I'm ready for. They push me to stream and come out of my shell and play with even more new people. And while all those things are in-game, the skills definitely translate and have helped me be more comfortable with myself when I'm entering new situations.
But to balance out all that touchy feely stuff, I will also say that they really helped me understand sports a lot better. I hated watching football until I started watching eSports. So I guess you could say that my passion for gaming has helped me understand passions that I thought were different than mine.
Whether it's narrative appreciation for Jay or it has helped with something personal like Blacktidetv, Synzer, Auverin, and myself, gaming has had an effect whether it is big or small.
So, what has gaming done for you? I would love to hear your stories in the comment section!