NOTICE: Since this is on personal experiences alone there will be no cited sources. References will be hyperlinked. The sequel to my previous ramble about how VGA could be part neglect and no this time around it will probably not make sense reading every other sentence so don’t try it.
At times I am a lone soldier on the wilderzone, other times I am a violent killer jumping around a simulated city with the powers of a superhero with my brother. Other times I am a plumber trying to save my girlfriend from my go-kart pal.
Video games are a form of escape from our lives and sometimes it works better than others. When I play video games I am no longer Derek Li. If I am playing single player then I am Snake or Subject Delta. Some of these characters have personalities like Snake for instance a veteran soldier with an expertise with stealth. Others are blank slates that I can convey my own thoughts and emotions on to, such as subject delta a protagonist with a vaguely defined past and met with questionable tasks with the outcome largely based off of my choices. These protagonists allow me to have a point of view in their world and a glimpse into their thoughts through events I would never encounter otherwise. A fresh new experience, an escape from reality, and the ability to feel important.
Multi-player is a completely different situation. I am not Derek Li but rather a username: Laitome. I treat complete strangers with total respect and in turn they return the respect in a way that could never happen in real life. They too respect me and trust me to pull my weight in team games or to become a force to be reckoned with in versus. They call me by my username, but they respect me and treat me with a kindness that is hard to find in the real world when everyone out there thinks you are crazy spending your time playing video games and not socializing. I get the ultimate sense of community there being able to talk freely and openly without the usual judgments, we all have something in common, and we all know the limits of our communication so we get along just fine. But if I suddenly disappear without warning they become curious and wondering where I have been if I suddenly come back. Video games mean a lot to those who play them and those who get addicted to them. They provide us with a sense of self-worth and community that is hard to find when you are depressed, just simply don’t know what to do with your life, or have been shunned from the real world by society and your peers.
While a feeling of self-worth and community is easy for those who are out going and social and don’t have mental issues, gaming while not in person do provide those values that keep us from going over the edge and give us a reason to keep on going. relevant last 10 mins