Help Of Video Games To People With Mental Illnesses

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In this essay, I am going to be talking about how Video Game’s and can those with mental illnesses as in helping those deal with their issues, overcome their problems and how video games can help them with certain problems. Within this essay I am going to be talking about depression, anxiety, the death of a parent and social interaction/meeting new people among other illnesses and how they’re dealt with but I won’t just be stating what game helps/deals with these illnesses I’ll be talking about how the games help with the illnesses and how they deal with the illnesses with their characters and story. For some of the games I’ll be talking about, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and how it deals with the loss of a parent via a little girl and its suicide prevention message from a man patrolling a bridge and Pokemon Go with how it got a lot of people out of their houses and helped them meet new friends. I think that by talking about how these games help and deal with mental illnesses I can help shatter the stereotypes that video games are a bad thing when they’re the complete opposite.

The World Health Organisation, in 2018, classed overplaying video games as a disorder and that upset a lot of the gaming community as they, and others, believe video games actually help people in some ways that medicine can’t. Some of the disorders that video games can help with are depression, anxiety, memory and PTSD. The types of games that have been shown to help the most with depression and anxiety are puzzle games, mainly Angry Birds and Bejeweled, these can help those suffering with it almost parallel to prescribed drugs and it even lessens it’s effect on the player. PTSD is a very serious condition that is extremely hard to treat but it’s been shown that those who have PTSD that have played Tetris have less flashbacks to those who don’t play it, this is due to those playing to have their minds concentrate more on the game and from this it helps their mind stop thinking about their horrible experience. Another issues that video games can help with is memory, and that’s not just with the young but also the elderly, games like Super Mario and other level based games can help those with memory loss as it gets you to remember where enemies are and when to jump and it also helps increase brain power by doing so.

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The Legend of Zelda series of games are a massively influential icon in all of gaming and so seeing the series in its latest title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, have interactions with NPC’s about suicide prevention and a parents death is an amazing thing as I’ll hit a much bigger audience. When you’re roaming round the land of Hyrule if you stand on the ledge of the Proxim Bridge an NPC called Brigo will stop what he’s doing and yell, in a calm tone, at the player to get down from the ledge and that they have so much life left, if the player steps down Brigo begins to talk with the player saying that he’ll sit and talk with you for as long as you need. Nintendo putting in a subtle thing like Brigo’s interaction went a huge way with fans as it was such a nice little message to those suffering with those feelings. Another hard hitting topic Nintendo talk about in Breath of the Wild is the death of a parent from a kids prospective. In an area of Hyrule called Karariko Village there’s a little girl called Koko who likes to cook we later find out that this is because she want to be just as good as her mother whom, it is hinted, has died. If you go into Koko’s house you see her father, alone, and he doesn’t want his daughters to know about his wife’s death but Koko had already figured it out and, if you catch her, early in the morning Koko is seen going a makeshift grave just outside the village where she will cry for an hour, this doesn’t necessarily talk about how to deal with a parents death but it still shows a nice bit of character story telling to see different sides of a tragic event and shows each party involved that it’s ok to feel a certain way about something someone’s death.

Pokemon Go was a massively popular game in summer 2016 and still somewhat popular now, the game also greatly helped those who had social anxiety along with other social mental illnesses. Pokemon Go requires you to leave your house and walk about in order to play the game this helped get people who had social anxiety get out more as of there was a good Pokemon in a certain area then you could met up with other people playing the game and talk to them along with helping you increase your physical activity. A group of 152 people participated in a study about Pokemon Go and it found out that a lot of people were now speaking to people they didn’t know over their shared interest along with spending more time with their friends and it helped a lot of people make new friends and come out of their shell a lot more and positively help them to learn more about the world.

In conclusion video games really do help those with mental illnesses and I’ve gone over the reasons as to why such illnesses as Depression, anxiety, memory, suicide, a loss and social interaction can all be helped and taken care of by the games that the person who has an illnesses plays the right game that they feel like hells them. So I hope you now have learned as to why video games can be used as a positive thing when helping those with a mental illnesses and that they are not all a bad thing to be shunned on.


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