It’s hard to know for sure when I started to feel extremely anxious in social situations, definitely at a young age, around 6 or 7. I have never been diagnosed with anything officially, but have always felt this way. That is also around the time I started to play a lot of games. Others (parents) might look at videogames as the cause of my social anxiety. I disagree with this.

I have social anxiety. I am introverted. This just made the escapism videogames provided that much more appealing.

Even though I disagree with the ’cause’, I find it hard to convince myself being so involved with games and game development is doing anything beneficial for me. Though I find it tough to think of this trait as a something that should be eradicated from my personality. At this point it is a large part of what makes me, me.

This seems like really basic issues though, I should see a professional I guess. Part of being raised as a male is you’re taught to avoid such feelings, or weakness. To toughen up, be a man, etc. I don’t have a conclusion (or a beginning, or middle). Thanks for listening anyway, textbox.

What Gaming Means To Me

Honestly, World of Warcraft. Social interaction is something I still need. WoW helped me interact with people in a different way. Though online connections are very difficult to maintain and I quite quickly lost touch with the people I met.

Games that help me know others feel the way I do. Games I can identify with.

Escapism is typically seen as a negative term. I feel there is something beautiful in escapism though. If anyone is feeling they don’t want to deal with the real world, to be able to travel to another sense of place so easily can be beneficial I feel. Though dangerous if exploited.

 

– Jeff Keeper

Jennifer Hazel

I’m a psychiatry doctor and passionate gamer. I run a resource called prescriptionpixel.com – an interface between video games and mental health.
This is a space for gamers to safely share their feelings, access personalised resources, and seek help without judgement or stigma.