I came into this week with the topics that I wanted to post on fully laid out. What I was going to post on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday were already planned. But then, on Sunday night, I came across two feature articles on the Game Informer website that deserved attention on this blog. They are, “Games That Motivate Me to Get Up and Be Better” by Marcus Stewart and, “My Fond Farewell to Monster Hunter: World” by Jason Guisao. Both men are currently associate editors at the publication and I appreciate their candor.
Video games possess the ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives. It has been the case for me. Gaming has long provided temporary distractions and stress relief during the toughest times in my life. It helped me stay balanced when I felt burnt out in college. When I’ve been in a bad situation, gaming afforded me a much-needed mental break. This allowed me to tackle the situation with renewed energy and a clear mind. In the past several years, I’ve gone through major health challenges. Gaming has helped keep me from becoming obsessed about that and helped me to keep my focus on more positive thoughts. While there are commentators that only discuss video games in relation to “gaming addiction” and the negative aspects associated with the interest, the fact is that there are many people whose lives are better because video games exist.
In Stewart’s article, he pointed out the games that served as an inspiration for him to be greater. The new Yakuza: Like a Dragon game was listed as one of the titles, which was humorous, but I saw his point with the main character. Just like movies and any other video media, video games can teach life lessons. They are also able to help reinforce good principles. The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel taught so much about friendship, caring for others, and getting along with others from different backgrounds/cultures through the development of its characters. Rean Schwarzer had a significant impact on me. The way that he looked out for his fellow Class VII mates was refreshing to see. He brought out the best in them. Through him, personalities that would never have gotten along were able to co-exist. Rean made me want to be better.
Guisao’s article was about how Monster Hunter: World helped him during a very challenging period in his life when he was unemployed. What I found fascinating was how his accomplishments in Monster Hunter: World helped to build his confidence. Many people fulfill their need for achievement through their jobs. That is why unemployed people can be susceptible to depression, feelling like their self-worth has been taken away, and feel they no longer have any purpose. Guisao appears to have experienced this and it must have been terrible for him.
Thank goodness that his friend bought him Monster Hunter: World. Even though it is a game, it still provided a platform for Guisao take on challenges that he had to overcome. What helps with gaming is that these challenges take place in a fun and less threatening environment than the real world. Yet there was still something to strive for and achieve. Even in the virtual world, winning feels good. Human beings by nature are meant to achieve and accomplish. When this doesn’t happen, it will feel like something is lacking. Winning those battles and leveling up his character in Monster Hunter: World brought back his self-confidence in reality. When you think about it, that is really cool.
It’s understandable if some people don’t get it. To people outside of the gaming community, video games can just seem like a waste of time and something that people are supposed to grow out of. But for those of us who know better, gaming does a lot of good.