Video Games: The Good And The Bad for Aspies
Once upon a time, there was a guy who didn’t like to go outside. That guy was me. Being outside scared me, not in the literal sense of the phrase, but I did feel uneasy when I wasn’t in my house. I had a good time once in a while, but there were times when I said “That’s it, enough for me,” and went back, took a bath and sat down on the computer.
While I don’t consider myself a gamer, I certainly enjoy playing video games, and if they’re in the tower defense category, I can easily spend one or two hours on it, maybe more. I’ve never thought seriously about the subject, never gave it that much attention, but I’ve been feeling better these days, I’ve been resting more, feeling better in the mornings, and have more appetite.
The reason? I’m playing video games a little more often.
Before I go further into this, I want to make it clear I’m not an expert; I don’t study psychology, medicine, or anything similar. Although I don’t believe a degree makes a better person, I make a big exception when it comes to medical terms. This is just my point of view on something that has happened to me.
Being an Aspie makes obsessive at times. I’ve focused on music, films, TV series, topics, even Wikipedia, at certain times in my life. I love to feel in control, that I can have a power of choice and make things whatever I want them to be. It makes me sound villainous, I know, but that’s how I can describe it best.
Playing games is one of the activities that allow me to use my whole mind, to the point of feeling annoyed if I lose and like king of the world if I win—as if I were a five-year-old kid. To live in a digital world offers me an escape, a brief rest from my daily life and duties.
My preference for dark fantasy, magic, adventure, and witches make me want to play those kind of games, where I can have powers like the heroes I used to see when I was a kid. And if I have to be completely honest, even though I’m not part of the best players, I’ve made some good choices when online.
It takes me about two or three rounds, around an hour, before I start working on my duties, my projects, my blog, social media, and the rest of this routine I’m still building my life around. It makes it easier to breathe when I need it, gives me more clarity when there’s something I need to do, and between two or three of things on my “to-do list.” I have a half-an-hour escape to charge my batteries.
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Having Asperger’s syndrome makes it easier to talk using the written word, to express feelings using a simple face complete with punctuation marks, or even gestures. And it helps me meet new people now and then, even though I’m most likely never to see them again. It is a great 2×1 combo: the chance of getting to know someone new and a time to rest and relax.
However, I’m not always playing online games. There was a time when I had a Nintendo Wii and, until recently, I also had an Xbox 360 in which I played different fighting games to get rid of my anger, stress, and anxiety.
As long as gaming gives you an escape, as long as it helps you relax and makes you forget about all that worries you, keep on playing until you feel better, finding your balance between distraction and work. As soon as I curse, I stop and start doing something else, and so should you in those cases.
This article was featured in Issue 74 – Every Voice Matters