By Giovannia Edwards-Campbell, Beano Brain
Growing up with only brothers, gaming became second nature from a young age. Playing on a console for a long time was often discouraged, so you could imagine my excitement when I was gifted my very own Nintendo DS Lite. It was a small, pink, handheld console which could quickly be hidden under a pillow.
As I’ve grown, my passion for gaming has not left, instead I’ve developed a new love for it. Being able to drown out the worries of today or to find solitude amongst a community of people like me are just a few of the many ways gaming makes me feel good.
A True Escapism
Over the years, I have become more grateful of the escapism that comes with gaming. It is as if the outside world becomes non-existent once your headset is on. From an outside perspective, I understand how this may sound. But coming home and blocking out the worries of the day is something worth waiting for. I began to use this strategically while studying at university. I encouraged myself to remain productive throughout the day and rewarded myself by unwinding with a gaming session. Gaming quickly became a way of encouraging good habits while providing a mental break.
The more I played, the more I began to develop logical, communication and strategising skills. Playing battle-royale and action games filled with many objectives provided an enjoyable mental challenge. When it came to team work, I had no choice but to voice my opinion and communicate. Without a decent level of communication amongst the team we were almost destined to fail. Although I picked up most skills naturally, others had to be refined and developed especially when playing tactical games. Watching Twitch and YouTube streams came in handy here but it unexpectedly sparked a desire to develop my skills.
New Found Friendships A large part of gaming are the communities which are created based on a variety of shared interests. I didn’t realise how great these could be until I began to play battle-royale games which required a team. I was no longer playing for personal gain, but for the sake of our team. Although the pressure was on, nothing beats the feeling of saving your team from sticky situations. A personal favourite – Apex Legends – taught me the importance of understanding each other’s weak points and working together to avoid them. After spending so much time exploring together it came by no surprise that my teammates developed into close friends. This made living through COVID and isolation much easier, although I was disconnected from those around me, I grew closer to my online friends.
The community that comes with gaming is hugely overlooked. Those feeling isolated and down can find fun online with people who share similar interests with them.
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