Motivation, confidence, and self-love are three things I’ve found myself in short supply of growing up, and using video games as a form of escapism to counteract these lackluster traits has been a staple for me for a long time.
Ever since I was little, I’ve always known, perhaps subconsciously, that my passion for gaming was fueled by my want to escape from the troubles that plagued me. Be it personal, familial, or school related; video games were always there to cheer me up and make me forget. It was not the healthiest lifestyle, I was well aware, but it was the one I was comfortable with and I came to terms with that a long time ago. So when my counselor at University told me that the depression I had been battling with may have been the cause of a lack of motivation and confidence in my own abilities, and that going to school for, and doing, what I was passionate about might change that, I thought I might give it a go. Second best decision I’ve ever made. Those who know me, know what the best was.
I’d always dreamed of being involved in making video games, ever since I was a child, my parents, and friends from back then can attest to that, but I gave up on that dream due to some possibly misunderstood advice. Perhaps if I hadn’t, I would have gotten to where I am sooner, ha, and with a lot less debt. But, on the flip side, if the timing for my choices hadn’t turned out the way it did, I never would have met my teammates in No Sleep and my life would be so much darker for it. So I think, perhaps, that the long road to get to my dream, with all its bumps, and bruises, and stops, was worth it, since I am finally in a place where I feel happier more often than not.
While we are on the subject of happiness, and on a website about a video game developer, there is this interesting article I read recently about escapism in video games and its links to mental illness, specifically depression. I’ll attach a link here for those that want to give it a look: http://ontologicalgeek.com/escapism-mental-health-the-double-edged-psychology-of-gaming/. This well written article, I found, was really informative on the struggles of balancing the fine line between relaxing and calming yourself after a long day through video games, and becoming dependent on them to run away from every day problems. Depending on how they are used, video games can be a possible aid to those looking to learn how to deal with their personal struggles. In my case, I’ve always issues with my confidence, but through the games I’ve played, and the people I’ve played with, I’ve learned ways to give off an air of confidence which, I know, isn’t a solution to the problem entirely; but the saying goes “Fake it ‘til you make it” for a reason, and if I can learn true confidence from practicing the false confidence I put on while gaming, then that’s good enough for me.
I’ve always seen myself as one of the weakest members of the team, programmatically, and it is true that I’m not the smartest or the most adept member of the team when it comes to programming, but every day I work hard to try to close the gap I see between myself and the best of us. The others have said, at one point or another, that the gap I see either doesn’t exist, or isn’t as big as I imagine it to be, but I think it’s better that I see it as a constant challenge. Something to always strive towards. Motivation to keep going and do better every day. Of course, I have my family and friends supporting me, and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world, but to have personal motivation to push forward is a beautiful new concept to me.
Do your best to stay healthy, happy, and wise.