It seems like nowadays, gaming is almost always coming under scrutiny. Every time thereís a tragedy and disaster in our society video games eventually come up as a potential causing factor. For some reason, society enjoys picking on this one form one media rather than others. When was the last time anyone looked at the type of books a shooter was reading prior to the incident? I canít help but wonder why this one form of media is so severely frowned upon.
Perhaps it because it seems to be targeted towards children, but to me it seems like a poor excuse. Content found in video games is similar to that of film, yet people rarely seem to go after the film industry like they doing gaming. And has anyone ever considered the erotica in drug stores? Itís right there in the book section near the coloring books. Any child whose able to read could easily pick up one of these books and start reading some X-rate fantasy while theyíre parents are paying.
But I digress, the point of me writing this article wasnít to bash society for attacking video games or start some philosophical conversation. To me it just seems that there arenít enough articles out there about the positive effects of gaming and how they can help people, so I wanted to share my own story.
I am currently twenty two year olds and have been gaming since I was about three. They have been my passion and interest for most of my life as I still game today. But one game in particular will always stand out among all the games I have ever played, that game is Final Fantasy X.† The last really good Final Fantasy in my opinion but that is a discussion for another day.
The reason this game stands out is because it helped me during a difficult time in my life and still does today. When the game was first released, I was entering middle school. Iím sure most people here can agree with me when I say middle school sucks. Probably some of the most awkward phases we have all been through. It did not help my case that I was not a very popular kid in middle school. I had one friend I was close with for many years, but he started to run with another crowd around this time, a crowd I knew was not one I wanted to be involved with. To top it all off I was victim of occasional bullying. Most of it occurred behind my back, but I knew it was going on. Perhaps itís better that way, as I donít know the severity of it.
My life at home was all right I suppose. I had a very comfortable home and a loving family. The problem here was that we did not get along well. I was the outcast in my family, had different interests and liked different things than everyone else. As a result, I spent most of my time alone. My escape from all this? Video games of course. For a few hours I was able to delve into a fantasy world and feel like I was apart of something else that I didnít have to deal with all the problems of my reality. But I could never totally escape, I still had to go to school and I still had nowhere to go on Friday nights.
For a while, I thought I might have been suffering from depression. I never wanted to go to school and I found more comfort in solitude. Thoughts of suicide had occasionally ran through my head, though I never harmed myself in anyway. It just seemed like an escape to me, a way out, but I was scared to actually go through with it.
It was during this time that I was heavily invested in Final Fantasy X. It was really the first RPG I ever played so everything was new to me. It was rather difficult at times, but I liked the challenge. In an odd way, I felt like it was bringing me closer to the characters. I was feeling their struggle as I struggled to survive some of the boss battles. But there was one scene and on character in particular that really changed everything for me: Auron.
Late in the game when the characters meet Yunalesca, they discover the truth about Sin and the calm. Rather than feeding into the tradition the characters decide to take arms against Yunalesca and change Spira for the better. But just before the battle with Yunalesca, Auron makes a short speech ďNow! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain, or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!Ē. Those words are still with me today.
I thought long and hard about it after the battle. I didnít want to be weak, I wanted to be strong. I didnít want to take the easy way out and follow what Yunalesca and Seymour had preached, I wanted to have courage like Auron did to fight my sorrow and see my story to the end. Even still today, when things start to get rough Auronís words go through my head, that I have the courage and I can be strong and keep moving forward.
Maybe this all sounds a little clichť or corny, but regardless of what others might think, this game still holds important significance in my life and has really helped me through some struggles.
So thatís my story, I hope I didnít offend anyone or sound like I thought people who are depressed or commit suicide are weak, that was not my intention at all. Everyone is different and everyone has his or her own life struggles, I am in no way judging anyone. I simply wanted to share my story about my struggles, what I felt, what I wanted, and how gaming really helped me.
As I said before, it seems like thereís always a lot of negativity around gaming and I wanted to write something positive about them, show that they can be beneficial in more ways than one.