Not just a game, but a way of life

People play video games for different reasons, reasons that are often inclusive rather than exclusive.

Some people play video games for the excitement and fun: to be in the shoes of their favourite hero, to support the franchise they love (*cough*pokemon*cough*), to experience the thrill of a first person shooter, or the satisfaction of advancing to the next level.

Some people play games for the people they’re playing with: for the cooperative and competitive spirit, to accomplish major feats or to be the best of the best.

Some people do it to relieve stress because sometimes the real world can be too much and we just need something to make us remember what it feels like to smile.

Some people play games for a living and others just don’t give a damn about games at all.
And that’s okay. Because games don’t have to mean the same thing to everyone and they don’t have to mean anything at all.

But then there are people like me who could never give it up. Because people like me have blurred the lines between video games and reality and as we play, we can no longer say “it’s just a game” as others do to downplay the significance of what we’re doing.

People like me live second lives on the internet: for us, playing a RPG is not just about the role play, but about living an opportunity we’d never be able to experience in our own lives otherwise; for us, the pixels on the screen are just as real as the people around us; and the memories we create with our imagination are just as important in our hearts as our physical experiences – the tangible and intangible lie equal in our minds.

We find solidarity, peace, and a sense of belonging in a community that didn’t even exist a couple of decades ago.
This is real life to us and it offends us when people question the way we live.

Yes, it may not seem productive and yes, we may not be great contributors to the problems of the world. But understand that our definition of world has already shifted.

And while some people would define success as something greater, I’d be happy enough with a Lv100 Jibanyan.

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Tl;dr: I think I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t quit gaming. But don’t send help. I’m happy with this.

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