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Quite often as gamers, we seek an escape from reality. We desire to be something more than our physical selves. So we want to reach beyond our scope through video games. Regardless of the genre, games hook us in, granting a means to escape from the present moment.

After a long week of everyday struggles, gaming can be a worthwhile alternative. Picking up a controller, grabbing hold of the mouse or even staring into a Wii U gamepad can take you into a world free of chores, exams and mundane work.

Relieving the daily suffering we experience through video games is entirely reasonable. However, choosing to ignore the pain and attempting to use video games as a cure is not.

This Topic Hits Home

My brother Brett was a Night Elf hunter, Reflektion, in World of Warcraft. He was a legend to me. But to others, he was an average hunter seeking acceptance in whatever guild he could join. People struck Brett with a verbal bat day in and day out during high school and sadly at home, too.

He felt like a failure. And the only sense of achievement he could feel was through being the best player in a Call of Duty match or by topping the meters in a World of Warcraft raid. Despite his virtual accomplishments, he still felt left out in the real world.

The Last Resort

His peers bullied him to the breaking point, which eventually led to him dropping out of school entirely. Online was no haven, either. Strangers told him to, “kill himself.” He believed he, “would show it to them,” (his mother, father and friends) by escaping even further through drugs and alcohol.

He took to video games as a way to ignore the depression and the anxiety he was experiencing. Instead of seeking professional help, he would mix OxyContin pills with a couple of beers and sit in front of the computer screen until he passed out.

Crippled by depression, he refused to seek help and acknowledge the problems he was facing. Unable to cope with the world around him, Brett felt video games were the only thing he had left. Until the day came where he could not escape from his problems any further. Ultimately, Brett sought a permanent escape. On October 14, 2013, he ended his life by overdosing on heroin.

You Can Help

According to a 2014 World Health Organization report, a suicide occurs every 40 seconds. In 40 seconds, you can let a troubled friend know, in real life or virtually, they are worth it and that they should seek the proper help. Let them know they are worth the fight and can find the assistance they need. Tell them every problem is manageable. Every obstacle is not impossible to hurdle. Their life is worth everything and more. Others love them. Others want to see them snap out of their funk and succeed.

If you are battling depression and having suicidal thoughts, please contact the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Please seek help and find a way to overcome the obstacles you are facing.

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