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Thoughts on/in Video Game Depression


Thanks to this video I have started examining my own journey through a sort of depression. Now I get that my life isn't really that bad, but as a recent grad struggling to find a job in a field I want to, and trying to find motivation to continue the search, I have my own issues. I moved away from my crutch of family and friends, and do not have much to lean on besides my cat, my girlfriend, and video games.

I moved to a suburb of Portland this past February with my girlfriend in the hopes of a better job market, or at least a better selection of jobs. Even before we left I was in a bad state. We graduated from college last May with high hopes, and even higher expectations. Soon after she went on a trip to Italy, basically causing life to be set on pause until she returned late last October. I was lonely, so I did what I always do when I have any feeling of doing much of anything - I played games. It didn't really matter what game, just anything to keep my mind off of the current situation, not finding a job and just waiting (which is an awful feeling sometimes btw). Between working as a part time waiter/bartender I probably played 8+ hours everyday, more if I didn't have to work.

Upon the return of the GF and plans to move to somewhere with better job opportunities, I thought that my slump was over. This feeling only lasted a short time. Running out of the money we saved up for the move, I had to accept a very shitty job at a semi-large retail hardware/home improvement store. It wasn't the job I wanted, and definitely not using my "skills" - in fact I knew just about nothing upon getting hired, but it was a job. I figured I could just keep looking for work, and keep on trying. This has almost come to a halt, all my free time really just spent playing games. Skyrim, The Witcher, TF2, Battlefield, Borderlands, Fallout, even Bioshock. I play anything just to keep my mind of what I am actually doing with my life. The only enjoyment I get is from playing games, and watching shows on Netflix. 

This can't be a healthy way to live, do most people feel this way after they accept the fact that they hate their jobs? I understand just going with the flow, but if this is the flow why in the world do we just accept this? That is not okay. This feeling in my "heart" is not comfortable, and can only be dulled and numbed, but it never really is going to go away until I am doing something I love, or care about. That is not okay. I need to use games as a form of entertainment and fun, not as a crutch to just numb my feelings. I get flashes of this in some games, where I am actually enjoying the experience, but overall I just feel okay when playing - no strong feelings towards it or anything. If I could go back to that day when I was 11, home sick, beating Final Fantasy 7 while laying in bed - to feel the excitement and joy when I finally beat Sephiroth, and saved the world - It made me happier then I could ever imagine being right now, and I was only 11. I get the fact that not every game is going to have that emotional impact that I really want right now, to feel successful, to win, to save the world, to be legitimately happy for longer than a few minutes a day.

To accomplish this I must make goals, write down what I want to do and take steps to reach this. That may mean not just playing games because it is the only thing I can think to do, and play them for the reasons I should be - to live, to be, to explore - not to hide from myself, drowning in this pool of self-pity and hatred. In the video above people played those games and for some those helped them readjust, to pull them out of depression, gaming the right way. I have been on the more negative side of gaming, just doing it to be doing something, not really thinking about it - just playing. 

It is important to make that distinction because I will continue playing games now, but for the right reasons and with a better mindset. Hopefully this tactic works - but if it doesn't I guess I need to separate myself from my gaming lust and reevaluate what is really going on. For those of you that actually read this to the end, I know it seems like my brain is just going everywhere, and my thought process can be very confusing, but that is what my brain has felt like during this depression. Writing this down, no matter how convoluted it all is, has helped - and maybe someone out there will know exactly how I feel thus deepening the bond of community we can have as gamers.

- Also, I may just have to take their advice and talk to someone
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About ChargingChuckone of us since 12:11 AM on 03.21.2013

At 23 years old, freshly out of college, I moved to a suburb of Portland Oregon. I am an avid gamer and I got into streaming not that long ago. I have a Twitch account along with Twitter and Youtube which you should check out.

My friends and I, aka The Pork Truck (yes it is a weird name) play games together almost every day. We play MMORPGs, FPS, RTS, TBS, regular RPGs, and almost anything other type except racing....well one of our friends is really into it. We are all very chill and a fun bunch.