Coping with Reality: How Gaming Got Me Though a Rough Time

How gaming has helped me though hard times in my life: the ups and downs.

How gaming has helped me though hard times in my life: the ups and downs.

Emotional Rollercoaster

I often think of how gaming has helped me, and not just through bad times, but how it has also helped me to learn and develop. In this article I’ll explain why.

The Beginning

I started gaming when I was a teenager, I wasn’t bullied, but I also wasn’t a popular kid. So I started gaming, trying to make a name for myself. I started with Runescape, not the best choice but I didn’t know any better. Not much came of Runescape except endless hours of grinding and money farming. I think this is where my grinding addiction began.

So My Watch Begins

Next came a little game called Fiesta Online, Fiestawas also a super grindy MMO that had a huge pay-to-win aspect. It was during my two years of gaming in Fiesta, I learnt that a community can make or break a game.

My time on Fiesta took a turn for the worse when my grandfather died, although it didn’t hit me hard, it did hurt my mother, which drove her to drink. This, in turn, made my life a misery, as all my day consisted of gaming till 4pm when my mom came home, we would argue ’til I walked out, and I would spend the next two days at my dad’s. “Why didn’t you move in to your dad’s,” I hear you say. Well by this time, my dad had remarried and had three other kids, making room very tight.

It was in this time, I met a young mother over Fiesta named Beth and we became fast friends, getting married in-game and staying MMO partners for nearly 4 years. She helped me cope with my mom’s outbursts which was making me so ill, I couldn’t eat or sleep.

Unofficial Therapy… and Debt

So, two years after starting in Fiesta, I get burnt out and start to look around for another MMO with Beth. That’s when, I find Perfect World’s: Forsaken World (FW).

My gaming life in FW was one of disappointment and debt, as FW was yet another pay-to-win MMO. But FW was sneaky, they portrayed an illusion that everything could be gotten with in-game currency. What they wouldn’t tell you is that, even though you could get everything in-game, it took nearly a thousand times longer to do so. And so, started my escapade into debt.

Without realising it, over another two-year span, I had spent a whooping $4000 on FW. But, the transactions were so small each time, that you wouldn’t notice, what made it worse was that you had to spend nearly $10,000 to be effective in earlyFW. But it wasn’t all bad. My guild inFW (Hyrule) was so helpful and understanding, I would often come online drunk and abusive, and they would just sit there and take it, even Beth, all while talking me though, sharing what they thought I should do.

In the end, it was my “buyer’s remorse” that drove me to leave FW and Beth. The reason for leaving Beth, was the fact that not only did she live 3000 miles away, but she was also married IRL.


It was during this time that I thought I had finished with gaming, and life with my mother was getting worse by the day.

I decided to leave, and I don’t just mean leave the house, I left the county. Which would be the same as leaving your state in America. After 6 months away, I was miserable, away from my family, my dad, brothers, sister and of course my friends.

So, I returned. My financial difficulty from FW meant I couldn’t get my own place. I went home.


Sitting bored one day, an old friend from my Fiesta days, decides to message me about Star Wars: The Old Republic. Even though my time inSWTOR was short-lived, it gave me time to get my life in order. It was at this time, I found my current guild (Guild UMBRA). Being withUMBRAhas changed my life. 

Working with the people atUMBRA drove me to redo my English qualifications, they helped me start streaming and also got me to join the folks here, at GameSkinny.

Present Day

And that leaves me with today. My life with my mom is still a little rocky, but I’m old enough to walk away, into my mancave, and immerse myself in what ever game I’m playing/testing. My debt has been halved. I’m not nearly as shy as I used to be. My language skills are to the point where my friends’ grammar on social media can actually annoy me.

Needless to say, I’m happy.

About the author


After gaming for over 14 years, i decided to stream...that failed after realising that my computer wasn't good enough to hold a good day while just playing, i was approached by a friend that was a journalist at GameSkinny and told me all bout the JTP.. so i applied on the fly and hey presto, i got accepted

Coping with Reality: How Gaming Got Me Though a Rough Time

Games allow me an outlet to release my fears and stressors.

Games allow me an outlet to release my fears and stressors.

When it rains, it pours. I am not sure how widespread that saying is, but for me, I have found it is true. For those unfamiliar with that saying, it basically means that when something hasn’t happened for a while, it’s going to happen well. Like if things were going to go wrong, they were going to really go wrong.

In my case, it has been the entire month of August. I am still in the midst of this torrential downpour and seeking the sun through the clouds. I feel stressed to my limit finding it hard to cope with the reality around me, ’cause to be honest, right now that reality sucks. But, for my two beautiful daughters, I am trying very hard not to let this reality break me. But how?

Gaming as a Mechanism for Coping

I seek my relief through video games. My favorite genre is fantasy MMOs, such as RIFT. Perhaps it is reminiscent of my table top sessions, but they are still my favorite genre. I can feel my stresses just easing as I watch that loading screen that will lead to my ultimate relaxation. By releasing my frustration out on a fictional enemy, I can release that stress in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone. By the time I get off, I am again ready to face reality without crumbling to a trembling mess of goo.

What about video games allows you to cope with reality?

About the author

Mary Yeager

I am a wahm mom of two who loves gaming, both electronically and table top.