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How Gaming Saved My Life! A True Story....

FFVI

The Story of Final Fantasy VI to this day still captivates me. Its tale of a group of rebels who are fighting an empire and a mad man in a world of Despair caught me out of no where. This tale along with the story of Cloud and his friends took my breath away at the same time. Those stories kept me going, because like the World of Ruin that befell Terra and their friends, or the Deadly Meteor that was hurtling down to the planet I was in my own world of despair.

The reason I bring this up is because as we wind down the year there are alot of year in review stories all over the media. There were the story of the miners in chili, the oil spill, the earthquake in Hait, and then there was the one that took my attention the most. The story of Tyler Clementi, the young man who was humilated by his room mate for the simple fact that he had a different sexual orientation and than took his own life due to this and other humilation.

Thanks to this story, the issue of Bullying was brought back to the fore front this year. This story of bullying and others were talked and many took issue with it. As this issue was at the forefront, while I applauded it brought back my painful memories of being bullied back in middle school. Of being laughed at and of being beaten up...of listening to the teachers that did not care. Feeling embarassed not to talk to anyone, including my guardians(Raised by my grandparents.) Why was I bullied in the first place I ask?

I did not have a different orientation, nor was I a minority in my area. I was bullied because I was raised as a kind hearted boy, that was naive to say the least. I was gullible and people manipulated me to that point. I remember one time I had bought two pops, and this girl who treated me like dirt wanted one, and she acted all kind and made me feel bad. I gave in of course, and than guess what? No change...she still treated me like dirt after the temptress got what she wanted. This and I was over sensitive, as I will admit back in those days I cried easily. Did I do anything to deserve it? No, I was kind and good to everyone in those days, but the kids did not see me as an equal. To Me bullying was what shaped me into the out spoken and cynical individual that I am today.

None the less, maybe I am a bit agressive at times here on the forums, but I would not harass anyone to the point of bullying in any way shape or form on here. Now I mean agressive as that I like to challenge peoples ideas and opinions, but its no attack on them in anyway shape or form. Now that I have clared that back to the story at hand...

The middle school years were the worst. Elementary School well that was ok, and High School actually was great because I went to a Technical Academy and there were alot more people like me there. Yeah sure the were jerks but not to the point in middle school and I made some great friends there. None the less it was eighth grade that was the worse. Things were bad that year that drew me to the point. The jocks made me a fool over a girl I liked, and they constantly stole my stuff including my FFVII book. Three kids even locked me in the bath room and set me up as late. It broke me down that I kept it to my self, and that I felt worth less. That I contemplated Suicide at one point, but luckily I had a vice though that kept from it. A Vice that allowed me to escape and it was a vice that was not unhealthy or bad. It was gaming, and it was gaming that kept me from that choice. It was what made me think that I had more to live for and that things would get better and guess what they did get better. Much better, and thirteen years later, I am happy and content in my life.

We all hear that videogames in the media are going to turn our kids into psychopaths, or they will get us fat and unhealthy. That ANGERS me to the point that these so called media people are telling lies such as the infamous Mass Effect or blaming the mod of Oblivion and getting it M rated. Why do they not seek the stories such as this one? Thats why those lies anger me, because gaming did not turn me into a villain, but it saved my life.

Those days in eighth grade I would come back and I would play Final Fantasy VI or Final Fantasy VII. Those games kept me engrossed in their stories and because of that I kept on. It what was inspired me to keep going. I Know it may sound silly but I became these characters and I kept going on despite the hard times. When I got to the world of ruin in FFVI, I felt, this is how my life looks, it is a world of Ruin? None the less Terra, Locke, Setzer, Celes, and those other characters kept me going and taught me that no matter how bad things get, keep going and things will get better. Than in FFVII, I learned that Cloud had much the same problems as I did, and that even pushed me further. It was not just that as well they provided me an escape a vice that was not drugs or drinking, but one that I can use and not harm me.

Soon the eighth grade would be over, and the summer would come. I would start highschool in a new school and I remember in the Summer of 1998, I reflected and I realized that if you keep up with things, they will get better. It was a new beggining and guess what things got better.

As time passed, I realized the truth. That those kids that bullied me, that those kids that I tried to fit in with were not worth it, and who I am now is well worth it. Infact earlier this year one of those kids that did harass me, one of the worst ones actually, I found out on the news was arrested for domestic abuse. I reflected and say, I wanted to fit in with him?

Now I will admit, I did do some commentaries and made fun of stuff like the Skip Rogers videos(Those are actually kodak poorly made videos). The Commentaries were mostly rebuttals to arguments, but I never said this was that one reason I quit youtube was due to the endless amount of attacking people that was going on. It was just a bit much to say the least....

None the less I owe alot to this hobby. I still love it and I am a defender of it to the end, because gaming helped me in the end. I remember in those days, a good friend of mine, his mother asked him...is that all he does, play videogames? Perhaps in those days yes, but it did do me good. Gaming is what kept me going and to be honest, I owe it alot.

To those who may read this and still in school, if you are bullied donot let those jerks keep you down. If you play games and thats your advice donot be shamed. I rather be a gamer than a druggie or a drunk. To all of you out there, our hobby deserves more credit than it gets. It helped me and if it helped you tell your story. We need more positive stories on how the effect of gaming out there. The other thing too is that we learned this year that bullying can hurt us in more way than none, but it can make us stronger. And as for gaming, defend your hobby and be proud of it, gaming is a positive thing and not a negative evil thing the media want us to be(It can be bad at times, but not like the media makes it be).

Gaming, saved me, what has it done for you? See you guys in 2011!