Its weird, the number of times I hear gaming slammed in the press for whatever reason, yet no one ever bothers to stand up and say "GAMING HELPS ME!".
Well i dare to bear all and do this now, in front of an audience whom are kind (yes you are) and maybe a little crazy, but scarily, I already know that this will hit a huge cord with quite a few of you, yet none of us actually will be feeling the same.
I suffer from serious depression, serious enough to have thoughts in my head which if ever discribed are likely to either get me killed or locked in a room with those fun cushions stuck to all the walls. Yet some how, I'm still here, I've not flipped out, I've not shot/stabbed/eaten anyone and from the outside, they all think I'm quite sane.
Over the years I've had some crazy times, people think street/free running is something new and amazing, yet when i was 16, it was kind the kind of thing we would do through the town, across the rooftops through the carparks because we had nothing better to do. We were never vandals, we never did any harm to anyone, never hurt anyone, and we looked out for each other...
Then it started to go downhill, people would be attacked randomly when they were on their own, fights would start, random other people (i.e. not us) would cause trouble and eventually we all became frowned upon. (I should point out that this wasn't a regular thing, but it only takes one or two people to spoil everything for everyone).
One of my female friends was jumped by about 7 girls from her school... i'd seen her 10minutes before and if i'd just gone with her, i could of looked after her (by this time i was 17ish, and the group was 15-18yr olds.)
You might think what were all these kids doing hanging around in town, but in reality it was more like 6pm, the shops would be closed, it was basicly the same as hanging out in the street outside our houses playing football and then going in at 10pm, except we were old enough now to travel futher (and town is about 10minutes away). Our parents knew we could be trusted, as if anything ever did go wrong when we were playing footy, we would own up to it (we did break a huge 2meter window once (OPPS!)).
Anyway, the point I'm making is we were happy, we were peaceful friendly group of teens. We wished no one any harm and would gladly except anyone into our "ranks".
What went wrong I do not know... slowly we all drifted apart and somewhere along the lines, my mind started turning nasty. Slowly I changed in side into this young angry being. Stuff went bad for me (when i say bad, you must understand, for anyone with depression the smallest thing going wrong can feel like the entire world is colapsing upon them - and if something truely _BAD_ happens, they end up feeling nothing at all). I had problems with friends, with girlfriends, with school, with education, with the world in general.
I hated the world for all it had done to me. All it had taken over the 18 years of my life for a few people to say "your fine, theres nothing wrong with you" and now it seems to of scarred me permantly.
Back when I was in school, in year 9 (which works out about age 14/15), my english teacher realised something was seriously wrong with my spelling. I was sent for some tests which showed my reading age was totally off the high end of the scale (i had a better reading age than most of the 6th formers and even some of the teachers), but my spelling was unbelivably bad for some reason.
After a few weeks of some special lessions which were taken in what would of been my art lessions, I was asked to write the alphabet on the board.... I stood up, wrote a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. and couldn't write any more. I just didn't know any more, i knew how to say it quickly along with the rest of the class, but i had no idea what letters i was actually saying.
From this, i realised something else. I didn't actually "write" when i wrote, i drew each letter, one by one. This allowed me to suddently understand why writting essays etc was SO hard for me, yet none of my teachers had noticed this.
I was rapidly losing faith in the education system. It couldn't help me when it couldn't even see what was wrong with me, and instead of taking me out of lessions which i couldn't care for (why learn french when you dont know english?) they would take me from my favourate lessions : ART.
If we skip a few more years i felt pressured that i had to go into "futher education" after finishing school at 16. So i did, i went to "6th form" which is based at the school, and things got even worse... this depression kicked in and i just couldn't cope with anything. In the years previous i had hated school and would do anything i could to not go, but now i felt i must go because it was my choice. It never dawned on me that i could choose NOT to go.
Now I'm at university writing this, things never did improve, college was teh same, we had a lecturer whom was so sure he knew everything about computers that when something went wrong, i would commonly be blamed for such thing - I was the geeky technical one in the class.I've just been to see my tutor for the project which is the end of my course. I've told him in an email that i've got serious depression and lack of sight of where im going with my project.
[red][size=6]HE SPENT LESS THAN 5 MINUTES TALKING TO ME[/size=6][/red]
I'm so angry, and yet, when I play games, it all disolves away. Thats what i really wanted to say. Games, have saved my life, more than once, many times....
Next time your talking to a friend, or maybe a random person, and you realise, they are dependant on games, just try and imagine for a moment, if theres maybe some deeper reason for that. Games maybe a "waste of time" etc, but they stop us from doing deeper, darker things sometimes, and surely thats a good thing?
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