Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Is Using Video Games To Escape Reality a Bad Thing?


Hello gang, this is going to be a short article about a topic I have been guilty of a lot these days and one I have seen being ask about on social media. Plenty of people play video games without using it as a crutch to escape their real world problems, but just as many, if not more, use it as a coping mechanism or a distraction from any number of real world problems. So, if you care to hear my take, click "read more".

What it Means

It is a very straight forward concept, but I will try to clarify the meaning in case anyone is unfamiliar. Using video games to escape reality is the act of playing video games not just as a hobby or to have fun, but to take their minds away from real life and focused on the virtual one of whatever game they are playing. RPGs, or Role Playing Games are a popular choice for this, but any game with a sense of emersion could work. It really boils down to what the individual gamer is interested in. 

Why People Do it

This is a much more difficult question to answer because there is no one universal reason. The most common reason people do this is because they are unhappy with their real life current situation. Depression, stress, times of misfortune, or feeling unsatisfied with what you got in real life are all common causes. Everyone has a different story about why they would want to escape their own reality. For some, it is not even a drama thing, just a fun experience and distraction. 

Is Doing it a Bad Thing?

Remember, this is all just my opinion. Generally, I would say no, but within reason. Too much of anything is bad for you and it can be a problem if someone is neglecting their real life responsibilities due to too much gaming. That being said, as a way of dealing with depression, stress, or bad luck, it is a much healthier habit than substance abuse or self harming. It really is just a case my case basis. Some people probably need to have their priorities straightened out, but for some other cases I would actually recommend doing this. If losing yourself in Minecraft or GTA Online can prevent even one suicide than I will stand by that this act is at least not entirely a bad thing.

Why I Do It

If I am going to call out the act it is only fair that I put myself out there and tell my own story. I am someone who has dealt with clinical depression my entire life and have a lot of difficulty being excited or satisficed with anything. On top of that, I feel lonely constantly. However, I have been a gamer for as long as I can remember, playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my Sega Genesis when I was around 4. Video games have been the one thing in my life that has always been a constant good thing. Now, I am not saying that no title has disappointed me and I have played my share of bad games. But, even that is not an experience I completely hate, it is like a crime scene, the story is interesting even if the action is tragic. Of course, I am someone who always puts real life responsibilities first; I go to work every day, pay my bills, even make time for this website and only game when I have the free time to do so. Still, I acknowledge that this is only a distraction and no solution to my problems, but sometimes that is all you need.

Given how many stories are out there as to why someone uses Video Games to escape realitiy, I hope someone out there will find this article and share their own story. If you would like to do so, you can leave a comment on the website here. Or, if you want to discuss this with me and some others, feel free to join our Discord server. Until then, this is Cendoo/Litestudios the Ghost Ranger. signing off.

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