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Article - Videogames as an instrument to combat anxiety PC

Double-edged weapon

At first, talking about something like that was a huge effort. However, with the article on video games and anxiety that I took out recently, I realized something I already knew, but it brought me great satisfaction to remember: none of us is alone in this fight. Maybe nobody knows our demons like ourselves, but knowing that there are many who fight each day on their own, who must be cousins of ours, also helps to keep going. Thus the idea for this article was born.

I did not know how to cover it. I did not expect so much response from my Twitter followers. But that's how it was. I asked in the social network of the bird that those who wanted to share their experience in that relationship starring video games and anxiety and the stories that came to me were impressive. All kinds of people who have suffered all kinds of backgrounds and who have managed to find a refuge, a response, a support in video games. That is why this article is born, which aims to compile all those confessions, those experiences, with the intention of demonstrating that nobody is alone and that in this magnificent industry we can find, not a solution, but the perfect weapon to combat this insistent demon and silent that is anxiety.

"From small what I remember most is the pressure at home to do things well, get good grades, play sports ... My family just put pressure on me without giving me a bit of support, and I was very useless, I was not given nobody is fine, although now I'm the same. That, added to the fact that I had no friends, and my whole school was messing with me because it depressed me a lot. ", Says Artifix , who continues explaining:" I have spent all my childhood with a Game Boy in my hand, if I had a time to play, I took advantage of it, and I always played Pokémon, because it gave me the feeling of doing things right, of moving forward, and to find challenges that with a little effort, I could overcome. I do not know if it was the best against depression, but I always got a smile. "

Like him, many others have gone through a hard childhood from which they have taken refuge in video games. "At age 12 I had the first signs of depression, I do not want to go into details but I felt unable to live. Against all odds, the first Dark Souls gave me a hand. Yes, it was difficult, but I could go ahead and dedicate time and effort. It was SO rewarding that I still keep it as my favorite game, "says Mr. Blue Sky. It may come as a surprise that a game like Dark Souls may be able to combat anxiety. But he's not the only one. Each one of us has found refuge in a very different game or games.

What game helps you fight anxiety?

"The first, Breath of the Wild. I have been with an anxiety crisis in recent months with some punctual depressive attacks and playing helped me a lot to keep my balance. When I needed to get away from everything and keep my mind focused, I used to open the game and look at the map and propose a route I had not yet done, such as reaching a certain peak, finding a particular horse, or keep looking for the treasures hidden under riddles of some kind. of the secondary missions. The fact of seeing a world so big and empty helped me to feel a bit identified with Link's trip and I got so involved in it that I forgot everything else, relaxing, as if I were sleeping.

The second, His-100, a programming simulator in assembly language. At its core, it is nothing more than a puzzle game. But when I was nervous or stressed by the situation I've been living at work, focusing all my mind on trying to solve the puzzle of logic eliminated all feeling or emotion from me and, when I solved the puzzle, I was in balance again. ", DetectiveAzul leaves a varied vision. As we see, the games do not have to belong to a specific genre, since for each one of us there is a key, or two, or three, in the form of a video game.

"I rediscovered Sims 2 and 3. I think that game was one of my escape routes thanks to the creativity that allowed me to explore. I would say that any creative game would have been my therapy, "says Ironic Sara.

"Today Monster Hunter is helping me a lot, exactly the Monster Hunter 4 ultimate, it's a challenge but 95% of the time I'm victorious but with difficulties and it gives me a lot of satisfaction to see your opponent fall" - Reyzerox.

"The BioShock saga has helped me a lot during my time in college, as a way of clearing, to escape a bit of monotony, in weeks of intense study and anxiety" - Papyrutástico.

For Miguel Macías, the perfect universe to be abstracted is that of the Mass Effect trilogy. In Diana's case, Stardew Valley has been like relaxing in a hot tub. For Luis, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess came at a very difficult time in his life. As he says "the fact that I thought I was in the middle of such a great adventure got me out of bed and went to class one more day". Nacho lived with ICO, a stage of personal discovery" And the bond I created with the simple fact of having to keep R1 to take Yorda by the hand made me feel a weight, that somebody needed me ." For Crusader King, Undertale became a safe haven. That idea of refuge, of finding a place, real or not, that allows us, not to flee, but to learn, in a different way, to live, takes us to the next point.

A refuge, a happy place

Many people have told me about the video game as a sacred corner, a place where they feel safe and happy. It is difficult to find that point of security and stability in the real world, hence we get carried away.

"To this day my 'happy place', which I go to when stress starts to overflow, is the games of Pokémon, The Wind Waker and Breath of the Wild. Pokémon makes me feel accompanied; Sometimes I imagine that I am where the character is, along with my Pokémon in turn, and that makes me feel very peaceful. And The Legend Of Zelda inspires me; I value myself thinking that if Link can carry the burden of saving the kingdom of Hyrule and its inhabitants, I can also gather my strength and face whatever comes. I hold my imaginary master sword and go out to face the world "- anonymous.

"For me, video games have always been a way of escape when I have not had the strength to fight on a day-to-day basis. I remember moments when, in a depression, games like Hollywood Monsters, Runaway or Broken Sword made me feel, let's say free, to be able to live an adventure that I could not do with my real life "- Jared.

"Although, in general, most video games helped me to forget and ventIt was the WoW that really helped me. A game where your character was growing and could interact with other people, in my case not being another person, just the opposite, was myself, a universe where I could leave and bring out my true personality. Where "society" did not prejudge you, but you were recognized by your merits and punished for your demerits. Little by little I became aware of the large number of people around me, who supported me and even sought me out because they simply wanted to talk, advice, laugh a while, or go to discover where the limits of that world were. In those moments was when I realized that in "the real world" could be the same, my class could be full of idiots, but it was not entirely their fault either, society had a small part, I had another. "- anonymous.

But the video game is a double-edged sword

Anxiety manifests itself in each one of us in a unique way. Hence, we can not say that the same video game can help us all. Many, in fact, can act as a double-edged sword. The video game can lead us to an obsession and even go much further, as we read yesterday in the article by Julian.

"I am a really obsessive person and sometimes I need to do things in a certain way in the game. For example, if in Dishonored I want to go completely stealth and fail, I need to start over or I just can not enjoy it. As 'self-medication' you have to know how to take it, and unfortunately, there are times when I have taken it too seriously to get even worse, "explains Enrique, confirming that there are not recommended titles when we are obsessive, we can not control or We have some type of OCD.

" Mount & Blade and Victoria 2 are games that I always go in my peaks of anxiety and depression because they completely evade me and leave my thoughts too busy with the variables of the game to think about anxiety/depression. But they also had a pretty negative point: they absorbed me too much. They became too comfortable and could throw me hours and lose the notion of time, sometimes in a very harmful way, keeping me awake on business days until late in the morning. ", LenguaDePlataputs us back in that situation. Video games help us to abstract, but we must always be aware that there is a life beyond. If not, we fall into a vicious circle, and we can even become dependent.

I leave many statements in the pipeline. A large number of messages and an endless number of video games have come to me that have made it possible for many to go on. Dance Dance Revolution, Horizon Zero Dawn, Hyper Light Drifter, Alien Isolation, Hollow Knight, Super Meat Boy, World of Warcraft, Slime Rancher ... Even the newly released The Red Strings Club. Hundreds of video games have managed to combat or help combat the anxiety of thousands of people. We should always try to know to what extent they can help us and when they can become the problem. In the end, with video games or not, we are not alone, I repeat it again. So do not forget to look for help beyond a console. But if you need a little less pixelated support, do not stray too far from the screen, because there are a lot of wonderful people that you can find on the other side of it.

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