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In April I fell ill. No one knew what was wrong, every doctor who examined me couldn’t provide a diagnosis. The only symptom was constant pain in my abdomen. Only last week was I finally provided with an answer: Ulcerative colitis [later re-diagnosed as crohn’s. The treatment (namely a shed load of steroids) is working for now, and for the first time in months I’m no longer in pain.
There were times over the Summer where I began to go a bit loopy over not being able to do anything. It prompted me to take up different hobbies, to try new things in an effort to distract myself. I painted and read a lot. In a fit of madness I even started a blog. However the one thing that kept me sane, provided constant enjoyment is the one thing I write about so lovingly. Video Games kept the pain at bay, and kept my hopes up.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m eternally grateful to my parents for taking care of me, believing in me when doctors thought it was all in my head. When I thought it was all in my head. But if it hadn’t been for Iasaac Clarke, Jak & Daxter -not to mention the Capitol Wasteland – I would have suffered a lot more over the last few months. Gaming provided me with an escape, one that I gratefully seized.
To go from hobbling around like a decrepit old man to saving the world with daring maneuvers and incredible feats of athleticism was exhilarating. Over the course of a few weeks I stalked Rome as an assassin, prevented civil war in a fantasy world and worked for a smuggling drug Lord in Haven city.
Instead of worrying about my own mind, I pondered over Iasaac’s declining grip on reality as he was wracked by guilt and self – doubt. I spent hours thinking about the Krogan genophage and it’s moral implications. I was stunned by Braid and its conclusion.
I was on various painkillers through all this, and maybe that’s why I was sucked into these worlds so completely. Maybe I just needed to be sucked into them, who knows? The result of this was that I became immersed in these alternate realities in a way I didn’t think possible. It’s why I started thinking about games so much, and why I started delving into articles where I broke down key components. This Summer I din’t just play video games – I experienced them.
The escape they provided and the relief they brought means that Video games will always be my favorite medium. Last April I fell ill, and couldn’t do much. I fell out of touch with most people I knew. I couldn’t enjoy my life.
So I enjoyed a multitude of others instead.
Have you ever escaped reality through video games?