Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

How Final Fantasy VI saved my life

4:00 PM on 11.08.2012 // Chad Concelmo

Oh my hero

This is the most personal post I have ever written for Destructoid.

At first, I was nervous about sharing this much about my life. But then I realized this is a story I really wanted to tell. I thought that if this very personal experience could inspire just one person or help make one life just a little better, it would be worth it.

This is a story about a very confusing part of my life and how one particular videogame completely changed everything for the better.

This is a story of how Final Fantasy VI saved my life.

It is hard to believe given my ridiculously optimistic personality, but I used to be an unbelievably shy child. I had some friends when I was very young, but when I got into junior high and high school, I was a loner. I would hang out in my room and do two things: draw pictures of roller coasters and play videogames. Those are the two activities that made me the happiest.

I didn’t have a particularly sad childhood or anything. There are a lot of kids out there that really go through some hard times. I had great parents, went to a good school, and got really good grades. I was just very quiet and didn’t really have any friends.

But on top of all of this I knew something else was going on with me. There was something I was confused about that I just didn’t really understand.

After getting through high school, I started college. I really wanted to be a roller coaster designer, so I went to a major, fairly prestigious university in my home state of North Carolina.

I was nervous to start college like everyone else, but I figured if I had my sketchbook and Super Nintendo, I would be just fine.

College was a completely different world for me.

It was hard for me to just seclude myself in the world of videogames and corkscrew loops. I had to be more social. I had to interact with a giant group of people I had never met on a level I was not comfortable with.

But I got by. I did what I had to. I attended my lectures, took notes, and hung out with a small group of very nice people while at lunch or between classes.

When I was in my dorm room, I would curl up in my bed, hook up my Super Nintendo, and just play videogames. That is what I looked forward to the most each and every day. That time in my room when it was just me and my games.

Then things started to happen.

My college roommate was someone I was randomly selected to be with. He was not very nice. He used to constantly make fun of me for playing videogames and mock me for not wanting to go outside and hang out with people.

I was fine with ignoring him, but things just got worse.

After a while, my roommate and his friends on the same floor would gang up on me and continue to make fun of my lifestyle.

On top of all this, they would start teasing me for being gay.

I’m not gay, I would think to myself. I’m not gay. Why are they making fun of me for something that is not true?

But maybe it was true? I mean, I was confused about a lot of things, and I think being gay may have been one of them.

To make myself feel better, I would just play more videogames. I stopped concentrating on my roller coaster designs since I didn’t even have the energy to leave my bed.

The taunting continued, eventually getting physical. It was awful.

I was scared to even leave my dorm, and even more scared to talk to anyone about what was going on. I was afraid to even mention the word “gay” in the same breath as my name.

To this day, that first year at college was the lowest point of my life. Going through such a personal struggle about whether I was comfortable with being gay was hard enough alone. Having guys make fun of you by posting mocking signs all over the dorm and punching you when they incorrectly thought you were looking at them in the showers made it even more brutal.

I couldn’t take it.

Now, I never considered doing what some people may think I would have considered. I never got to that place.

But I was sad. I was sad and confused. Enough to actually make me leave school.

I went home one weekend and never went back. I told my family that I just didn’t want to go back to college.

Understandably, they were confused. They had no idea what had been happening with me, so they just thought I was randomly giving up. I refused to tell them what I had gone through, out of fear that they might ask me if I was gay.

I lived in my room for a while after all this.

I lived in my room and dove into my videogames.

At one point I decided to replay Final Fantasy VI. It was one of my favorite videogames and I knew the length of the game alone would give me an excuse to just separate myself from everything that was going on in the world.

I had no idea how much the game would change my life.

I became obsessed with playing.

Every single part of the game meant something to me.

When Terra and her companions marched towards Narshe at the start of the game, I was entranced.

I became enraptured with certain characters in the game. Terra, Celes, Locke, Sabin, Cyan, Setzer, Relm. Each one of these characters became almost like friends as I watched their sad and sometimes very tragic storylines unfold on the glowing screen in front of me.

Their stories became my story.

While the entire game hypnotized me, there were particular scenes that really affected me on a very deep, personal level.

The opera house. When Celes sung her aria it was hard for me to hold back tears.

The  ghost train. I was unimaginably moved when Cyan said a final goodbye to his deceased wife and child.

The Solitary Island. Watching Celes struggle with being alone and losing someone she loved really hit home. When she tried to commit suicide in the game by jumping off the cliff, I almost couldn’t bear watching. It all just felt so real to me.

Each one of these moments had a profound effect on me.

I wasn’t just playing a simple videogame anymore. I was experiencing a piece of art that was slowly changing my life for the better.

Each time I played Final Fantasy VI I felt better about who I was and the situation I was in. I started to emerge from my depression as I lost myself in the world of the game. I would smile every time I saw a sequence with gorgeous graphics. I would close my eyes and feel my heart beat to the game’s gorgeous soundtrack. As each new sequence introduced itself, I would think about my future and the person I wanted to be.

There have been many videogames that have made me happy over the years -- that’s why I love playing games! -- but Final Fantasy VI was different. The game was perfect for me at that point in my life.

I don’t think it is crazy to say it genuinely saved me.

After playing Final Fantasy VI, I started to become the person I am today.

I thought about the people who tormented me in college. The more I thought about how much Final Fantasy VI meant to me -- and the more I thought about how great things can be in this world -- the less I cared about all the things they did to me. Why would they make fun of me for playing videogames? Videogames were fantastic! Why would they physically abuse me for being gay? Being gay was even better!

Eff those guys!

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that changed me into this person, but I know the game helped me get there. Maybe it was when Edgar and Sabin flipped a coin for control of their father’s kingdom. Maybe it was when I first discovered I could wait for Shadow and save him from death on the Floating Continent. Maybe it was when Setzer mourned the loss of his beloved Daryl.

Maybe there wasn’t even a specific moment at all! Most likely, it was a combination of every brilliant moment in the game and my willingness to let it grab hold of me and open my eyes to everything awesome in the world.

All I know is: when I was finished playing Final Fantasy VI, I was happy again.

I was confident.

I was not afraid to be myself.

I enrolled in a new school with a new focus: writing.

I made tons of friends.

I started to tell people I was gay.

I WAS OUT OF CONTROL! AND IT WAS AMAZING!

Final Fantasy VI had such a positive impact on my life, that every time I hear a note of music from the game or even see a familiar sprite, I think about the powerful effect it had on me.

I will never forget the game as long as I live.

This is why I love videogames as much as I do. They are not just pieces of entertainment to me. They have helped mold me into the person I am today. They had a hand in getting me through the hardest and most confusing time of my life.

When I eventually went back to school, my transformation was finally complete. I was the happiest I had ever been. All these years later, I am still going strong. And videogames are just as an important part of my life. I am still just as happy, just as confident, and not just comfortable with, but proud of the person I am.

Would I have changed this much as a person despite Final Fantasy VI? Maybe. Is there a chance this is all just a coincidence? Could Final Fantasy VI have been replaced by anything that I happened to dive into at the time? A good book? An amazing movie? Perhaps.

But I am not sure it would have been the same. I believe there was something magical about Final Fantasy VI that saved my life. I still think there is something magical about the game every time I sit down to play it.

It is truly something special.



Chad Concelmo,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.







 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
I swear, it makes sense in context..... Kinda. Hmmm. Okay, not so much. [img]http://i.imgur.com/YhIzmYN.png[/img]
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Almost done with my Waifu wars blog. pretty happy with how it turned out.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Time to scream and shout. It's Nanako cosplaying as her big bro! <3
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Bernie Sanders vs. Donald Trump is like Gandalf the White vs. Handsome Jack.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Skellige is so cool! It's like the land of Valhalla Rising.
Torchman avatarTorchman
http://gonintendo.com/stories/251840-fire-emblem-fates-petting-mini-game-is-in-game-but-only-availa I THOUGHT THIS WAS GONE. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MINDS PEOPLE
Shinta avatarShinta
God damn, Bernie Sanders is just killing it with this speech. Hitting basically every point. He even used the word "oligarchy." Probably the first time I've ever heard that word uttered on CNN. I think a lot of people in power are shitting their pants
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In my haste to finally factory reset my tablet, I erased a blog I had worked on. Thankfully, it's fresh in my mind. It's another MGS blog, but it goes the opposite way of my last MGS blog. Pray this guy is not your husbando, for he is shit.
Sir Shenanigans avatarSir Shenanigans
Just ate a disgusting amount of sugary wonders in a Fat Tuesday blowout. Chocolate (birthday) cake, Oreos, brownies, cookie dough, and some creme brule thing. Satiation by way of eat-'til-you-puke is what Shenanigans says!
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
Is there any real difference between the PS3 and the PS4 versions of Valkyria Chronicles?
Shinta avatarShinta
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Say whaaaaaat?
Gundy avatarGundy
Voting for Broforce made me think of the most American person that could ever exist. President Michael Wilson!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
By the way, that IGPX collection is a new release. It's the first time the show is available in a complete package, and the first time it's been available in any format in about 10 years. [url]http://amzn.to/20JSMCd[/url]
gajknight avatargajknight
This is your daily reminder that Taxi Driver is the best movie ever and if you disagree then all I can say is: God, you're square.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
I love when someone at work tries to claim you screwed up on something and it completely backfires on them. I try to help them save face afterwards, but secretly I'm like...
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I still love Tearaway Unfolded despite the shit pacing and hell yeah I'm going for that plat. It'll be my 2nd plat, first since Sly 2 Remastered back in 2012. So it's been a while. gotta beat the game first tho :P
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Tearaway Unfolded's final level is my least favorite kind. Life is Strange-esque linear path (through a void) of moments from the game. Bleh.
Shinta avatarShinta
Gravity Rush Remastered looks reallllllyyyyyy nice. Video and screenshots didn't quite do it justice. Seeing it in person is much better.
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
We are T-7 days until the release of Street Fighter V! There will be a blog released on the February 15, only one day before the release. This blog is about reflecting on Street Fighter IV.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -