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Gaming can make a better world – the proof

Gaming can make a better world – the proof

We get a lot of letters and e-mails every month here at PLAY magazine and in the last six months we’ve had a lot of letters from people keen to point out that games have played a part in making their lives better for one reason or another. They also always thank the PLAY team too, which is nice.

The first came back in March from Dale C in St Helens, who told us how gaming had helped him overcome a decade-long drug addiction problem,

“That’s right, your mag has, along with my PS3, saved my life from the hell of heroin and crack addiction. Trust me when I say I am a year clean and I really do hold my PS3 responsible. Thanks PLAY, without knowing it you’ve helped me stop killing myself and given me something else to concentrate on.”

By the sounds of it, Dale has transferred his addictive behaviours onto collect games and issues of PLAY. He says he keeps his PS3, its games and his issues of PLAY in spotless, mint condition. But if that’s what it’s taken for him to get off the junk and return to gainful employment, then that’s awesome, right?

Then there was James Koppert, who had recently developed a permanent disabling illness, putting a halt to his surfing and snowboarding lifestyle. To make matters much worse, his wife had just found out she had pre-cancer cells and his car had got written off in an accident (not his fault). Again, PLAY was on hand to cheer him up, although we didn’t know how much he needed it. James was one of the lucky winners in our Half-Minute Hero T-shirt competition, and wrote in to let us know how much chuffed he was,

“Well, can I say after all I’ve been through recently this just absolutely made my day and brought a huge smile to my face. It meant more to me than you will know so I just wanted to write you a big thank you for bringing a bit of light into my world.”

See? Half-Minute Hero really is heroic!

Then a few weeks back, we got a letter from Emma Fowler from Ipswich, whose life is mostly confined to her wheelchair (or ‘gaming chair’ as she prefers to call it) and her home. A Cambridge graduate, Emma wanted to praise PLAY for being “so wonderfully cerebral”. We don’t know what that means, but we’re pretty sure it’s a good thing,

“I love you for that. I’m sick of reading magazines that expect gamers to be buffoons!”

Emma also made some interesting points about exactly how and why gaming makes what must be a difficult day-to-day life that much better,

“Gaming is a great leveller in our house. Disabled people can play alongside able-bodied friends and relatives and not feel like the loser or the odd one out for a change. I love that it is something where we can feel like equals.
Also, it is a fantastic distraction. For anyone who is in lots of pain, my advice is to take up gaming. It can still manage to put a smile on my face, which is no mean feat these days.”

Letters like this put a smile on my face too. Gaming – you’ve got to love it.

But we’re not done yet. Just a few days ago, we heard from Steven Taylor in Caldicot, who two years ago had surgery to remove a tumor from his spine, which has left him partially paralyzed, hardly able to walk and pretty much housebound. Like Emma, he has found some comfort in gaming and in reading PLAY,

“During the time I’ve been in the house I’ve become a huge fan of Trophies. I get people to buy your magazine for me every time it’s out, and it has helped me get the Platinums and other Trophies, as well as decide what games to buy. And it stops me being so, so BORED in the house all the time. So this is a big thank you for helping me through the last year and a half. Love the magazine, looking forward to reading more.”

Steven is also pretty proud of the scar he was left with after surgery and sent us a couple of pictures. Here’s one of them. Does look pretty cool, doesn’t it?

So there you go. That’s four people whose lives suck a hell of a lot less thanks to gaming. You don’t read much about that in the newspapers, do you? Now, why is that?

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  • Jack

    Because Newspapers dont see “good news” as “news”.

  • Gavin Mackenzie

    Neither do gamers apparently, hence this feel-good story being widely ignored.

  • ziad

    Well, just to confirm, I read this article! 🙂 Gaming IS good, when it is done by well behaved boys and girls 😉