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It’s been a while since I blogged about online gaming. I promised to get back to it after I had asked some of my own online friends who game what gaming meant to them. And how it had helped them in a positive way during their lives. In a time when gaming has again been shown in a negative light due to the shootings in Norway, I would like to stress the positive sides.
Two of my friends got back to me [both want to stay anonymous]. But they did not mind if I shared what they had to say with you. So here are a few of their responses.
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Did gaming ever help you through a bad period?
Luckily, I haven’t had that many really big bad times in my life. I
guess I’m still young, and perhaps haven’t experienced that much. But,
I will say that gaming helps with stress, such as the stress of
school, and classes, etc.
If I weren’t able to retreat into the world of games, the pressures
of being a grad student might have driven me to do other things a lot
of people my age and in my position end up doing.
You know – drugs, drinking, and that sort of thing.
Here’s an example – I’m doing homework on my comp, rendering sketches
for a grade. And it takes 3 hours for the render to complete, so I do
something else in that time. And it is usually game oriented. And it helps the time slide by really smooth.
So, I think gaming is like any other hobby. It makes slow, dull,
boring, or stressful work-shiz slide by.
Has gaming made you more or less social?
 
I think I'm not as reserved, or
quiet as I was in high school thanks to role-playing. I still qualify
for what a lot of people call "emo". The quiet, contemplative, and
often very opinionated side of Goth culture. But, when you really
throw yourself into the role of a loud-mouthed Klingon, you begin to
learn your own range and limitations when it comes to things like
assertiveness. I think I'm more assertive than I was before I was a
gamer.
 
Having said all of that, all the gamers I've ever met have been happy,
well-grounded, well-adjusted individuals. And it is the non-gamers;
the jocks, and "cool kids" who put down, tease, harass, and wedgie
gamers that are usually the social misfits, miscreants, and
ner-do-wells.
 

Have I made friends, through gaming that I can turn to and rely on in RL ?

I think I’ve met more people and made more friends in SIMing, because it is on line and anyone from anywhere in the world can participate together. You’re from the Netherlands, M lives in Belgium now, K is in Australia, R is in the US.

But the friends I’ve made in on-line gaming are, by and large, people I trust and people I’m comfortable talking to and confiding in.

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I hope that these few replies helped to show people that most gamers are very normal balanced people. 

If you want to share your story feel free to do so through comments.

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