How Gaming is Helping Me Deal with a Tragedy

The story of how gaming is helping me deal with the loss of my father, and why gaming should be taken more seriously - not dismissed as mere entertainment.

I've been an avid gamer since my dad first bought me a Playstation for Christmas when I was 4. Ever since, I've enjoyed the plethora of fantastic experiences available in gaming, but I never thought of these games as much more than an entertainment source.

Until yesterday, when my mom told me that my father had just passed away.

I was heartbroken... I am heartbroken. I'm only 15, and the oldest of my brothers, and now suddenly I'm forced into a position where I have to grow up and help my family as best I can. Within minutes, my entire life changed. I was in shock, I couldn't believe what happened, just the other day I was telling my dad I loved him, and now he is gone. 

I couldn't wrap my head around what happened. I still can't.

I had no idea what to do, so I tried to live my life as normal as I could, so after many tears had been shed, I went into my room to think. It was just too much for me, and I decided not to think about it and turn to my favorite activity: gaming.

I turned on my Xbox and began to play some of my favorite games, and while I did, I completely forgot about the world around me. All the tears, worries, and stress vanished without me even realizing it. That is when I realized the power of gaming.

I don't know what I would do without gaming... scratch that, I know exactly what I would've done, sit in a corner and cry. But thanks to gaming, I was able to ease all that tension and just relax, something people take for granted these days. I'm still heartbroken, but now I'm able to move on. I'm able to go to football, talk to my friends, and live a normal life like my father would've wanted me to.

It wasn't the words of my friends or family, nor the hours of weeping and stress that helped me move on, but the simple comfort of turning on a game and relaxing.

We often hear of games being used as a form of escapism as a bad thing, but I fail to see how that is so. By just sitting there and pushing some buttons, I was able to get up, comfort my mom and brothers, and help them get back on their feet in the same way gaming did for me.

Playing games obviously won't make my problems go away, but it has certainly helped me deal with them. I love you Dad, thank you for everything you did for me.

Featured Contributor

Here to break the sterotype that jocks can't be nerds. I'm 15 and I love gaming. Gaming has helped me in many ways throughout my life, most notably when my father died. I love to write reviews so you guys can know whether or not to spend all your hard earned money on that brand new game or not. My favorite games are Deus ex, battlefield 4, the witcher 2, Assassin's Creed 2, and anything bioware (mass effect, Kotor, Dragon Age)

Published Feb. 8th 2014
  • Catrina Dennis
    Featured Contributor
    I am so, so sorry to hear of your loss. As a fellow eldest sibling I really just want to give you a hug, because I know that being the eldest in a time of such tragedy is exceptionally hard. It is amazing to hear that games are helping you, but I am also going to second what Amy said. Keeping your head above water is hard, so don't feel like you're slipping when you can't.

    Gaming has been and will always be a great escape and one of the best forms of relief I know -- also, winning and accomplishing goals within games makes you feel stronger.

    Wishing you and your family the very best.
  • Amy White
    Former Editor in Chief
    Dillon, I'm so sorry to hear about your father. I'm glad games are helping you cope, and sure that your family appreciates your strength and support.

    I got lost for hours and hours in DragonRealms after my brother passed away when I was 18. Terrible though it might sound to some, it was so helpful to be able to log in to a world where he had never been, so I didn't feel his absence and could just let the pain leave the forefront of my thoughts for a bit.

    From my experience I'd caution: Don't forget to take time to process your own emotions, give them space and deal with them. If you always escape from them it may be more comfortable in the short-term, but I think healing may take longer that way too.

    Thinking of you and your family.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    When I lost my mum, I was soooo angry at the world, I used to kick off a lot at School, got into a lot of fights, and almost got expelled. GTA SA and more recently GTA IV and Just Cause 2, these are my vents, they let me go around just blowing things up, murdering anyone, and everyone, and generally being reckless. It enables me to one, calm down, and two take my anger out on something.

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