How Video Games Helped Me

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Published on November 6, 2015

Growing up in a not so good neighborhood I had all the opportunities in the world to become just another statistic: no father, an only child, and friends with gang members who wanted me to join them. But what kept me from all of that was video games. They helped me see a better future for myself.

Being an only child was good. No one to get the top bunk, no one to take the last slice of pizza or even to hog the bathroom. But it had its downsides too. No one to blame if I broke something, and most importantly there was no one to hang out with.  Being an only child meant I was left alone a lot when my mom had to go to work. So I had the whole house to myself, well, except for Rusty.

In 2002 when I was about 12 or 13 in 2002 when I first got my pet dog. We got a little Rottweiler who we named “Rusty” because when we first got him the color of his fur looked a little rusty. Rusty was basically like the little brother I never had. I took care of him, giving him baths, taking him for walks, and cleaning up after him were my responsibilities. I even let him sleep on the bottom bunk. That’s basically why I ask my mom to get me a bunk bed in the first place.

Anyway, flash forward to some years later when I had just finished high school. The world seemed a little different that day, I didn’t know why but it just felt different on the way home from school.  I finally make it home and usually my Rusty would greet me at the door. This time he didn’t. As I looked around the house for him I couldn’t find him at all. I looked outside, looked in my room and then in my mom’s room. I could find him any where, so at this point my heart was pounding, and for the heck of it I checked the bathroom. There he was in the bath tub breathing differently than he normally did. I pulled him up out of the bath tub and he slowly walked to my mom’s room and laid down. I knew something was wrong at this point, I could feel it in my heart.  I walked into my mom’s room and sat down next to him. He then put his head in my lap and took his last breath.

After this event I was lost. It was as if I just lost my little brother. I felt like it was somehow my  fault. At this point I turned to video games. I was always a gamer,  but this time I needed something to help me forget what had just happen. Video Game were the thing that answered my call at the time. One of the video games that helped me out was a game called “Fable 2”.

The game takes place in fictional land of Albion. On the journey through the game you stumble across a dog. This blew my mind, at the time I had just lost my dog and in this video game I had just found a new dog. In the game you could name your dog and, of course, I named mine Rusty. Depending on how you played the game you could have either a good or bad dog. If you were a good hero your dog would become lighter like a golden retriever and if you were a bad hero your dog would become darker. Enemies would sometimes kick my dog and, naturally, I would beat them down.

We as gamers play video games because it takes us to a new world. Think of it as a reading a good book that when you read it you can also imagine yourself being there. It’s like that for most gamers too. Sometimes we don’t like the hand we were dealt so for a little while we escape just to take our mind off of things for a little while.Video games kept me out of so much trouble as a youngster.  I was always afraid I was going to get in  trouble and going to jail, and of course you can’t play video games in jail so I decided never to get in trouble.