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Author Topic: RPGs as Therapy  (Read 8486 times)
GrimReality
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2011, 10:10:51 AM »

Van, you're right, it's not Therapy, as it is defined. Playing games does not in any way work towards solving my health issues. It is escapism. A distraction from the pain for awhile. But everyone already knows that games are escapism. And I'm pretty sure everyone knows that no game is truly going to solve our problems. I have a feeling when they (the editors or whoever) came up with the idea and the title for this feature, that they weren't thinking about it in such a strict way. It really IS a personal thing. I wish I could play a game for 2 hours, and actually feel less pain when I'm done! If someone here could figure out how to do that you'll be a billionaire. Personally, I've been through actual physical therapy 3 times. I dare say that was only a "distraction" as well, because the help I got only lasted for a short amount of time. Kind of like the pills I have to take every day just to go to work, and try and be a good Dad and husband.
I guess my point is that unless this is being submitted to a medical journal, it's not worth arguing over the title of the feature.
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John
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2011, 11:08:32 AM »

I will be the lone dissenting voice. Calling video games a form of therapy is bad, because calling anything a form of therapy that isn't actually therapy is bad.

I disagree.  Just ask this Scientician.

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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2011, 11:51:35 AM »

I've changed my mind. Everything is a form of therapy.
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Klyde Chroma
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2011, 12:55:55 PM »

What a great topic!!... Real quick, before I reference my personal experience on the matter, in regard to escapism vs. therapy.... It most certainly is escapism before it is therapy however escapism (given the circumstances) can also certainly have therapudic, and problem solving, value.... To deny that fact would be like saying Vicodin doesn't assist in recovery from dental surgery. The medicine may only cover the immediate problem, but doing so can help solve it... in other words, without the Vicodin a man can't go to work and pay the pricey oral surgeon..... Ok, so that was a poor paralel to draw but you get the idea....

Anyhoo, in my own experience RPG's have proved life saving. I won't bore anyone with the gory details but lets leave it at growing up in my house was rough.... it was a volatile environment and if it not for liberating so many kingdoms from tyrannical empires, saving worlds from demons, and all with enough time to visit an alien planet in turmoil before bed I would have probably been all but completely consumed in the chaos around me.... Bottom line is, I was way more concerned with leveling up then I was the negativity that sat beside me through those years.... At that point games were more of a survival mechanism or coping strategy than simply just therapy or escapism.

Fast forward to adulthood. While not proud of the fact by any means, in adulthood I eventually found myself drug addled and highly addicted to some very demanding substances..... By demanding, I mean they DEMANDED all of my money, time, effort, thought, spirit and will eventually..... Once again, to make a long story short, I know when I made the decision to get sober and apply myself to not being a complete waste of space my whole life I returned to the fantasy realms that I found oh so comfortable as a child. The first 6-8 months of sobriety were like living a literal hell when I wasn't playing RPGs..... In all honesty I don't believe I could have gotten sober in the fashion I did without games (that is, without relapsing. without sublimating or substitution et cetera.....)

Fast forward now to present day. I am tattoo artist. As such my job carries with it a high degree of liability in a number of respects.... it is not all simple and fun as portrayed on TV, sorry to break the news..... and if I couldn't come home and escape the high level of liability I surely would not be able to return to work the next day inspired and ready to do it again.... While I love art, being simultaneously responsible for multiple deadlines at once, matters of permenance on clients bodies, and above all else the health and safety of the afforementioned involved, leaves one very drained eventually..... Quite honestly if it were not for video games I could easily see how I would seek out other forms of escapism under the level of stress I feel most days and potentially end up back at square one of trying to change how I feel through chemicals in some respect.

I can go on and on to illustrate my point and cite examples from my life but the point is RPG's and video games can and are useful in a number of respects beyond entertainment depending on the circumstances.
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Tomara
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2011, 01:37:03 PM »

Edit: nevermind
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 03:16:07 PM by Tomara » Logged
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2011, 07:57:43 PM »

Video games are very therapeutic to me, especially Oblivion because I can kill women, strip them, and then punch them off a cliff.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2011, 09:34:50 PM »

Therapy in a colloquial sense/definition is quite different from therapy in a more clinical definition.  Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if in this digital age that video games don't eventually become as much a viable tool for therapists as, say, inkblots or something. 

As for video games impacting my life in a positive manner, note my "Finding My Persona Through Persona" editorial.  And playing RPGs is part of what got me into reading epic fantasy novels. 

I recall someone long ago on the forums talking about how gaming helped him overcome an alcohol problem.  And also note Pat Gann's editorial about how gaming helped him connect to a severely autistic child at a summer camp he counseled at. 

So semantics aside, the feature and the aforementioned editorials did their job of portraying gaming in a positive light- which flies in the face of convention where the establishment and all the zombie sheep in their pockets continue to denounce gaming as a plague.
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2011, 10:48:19 PM »

I feel like saying that my argument is based on semantics is a little disingenuous. I've already ceded that gaming, like any other hobby, has plenty of benefits to your physical and mental well being. I'm just not convinced it's therapy.

Unless the next time you pop a game into your console it properly diagnoses the condition plaguing you, that is.
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2011, 11:59:05 PM »

Unless the next time you pop a game into your console it properly diagnoses the condition plaguing you, that is.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories sort of does that. Then it turns it into a horror game.
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Kstar
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« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2011, 12:38:16 AM »

I feel like saying that my argument is based on semantics is a little disingenuous. I've already ceded that gaming, like any other hobby, has plenty of benefits to your physical and mental well being. I'm just not convinced it's therapy.

Unless the next time you pop a game into your console it properly diagnoses the condition plaguing you, that is.

But it is based on semantics, you're taking a very positive article and trying to play the semantics card.  Have you ever heard people saying "wow that was so therapeutic?" There's many things that cater that response.  Therapy doesn't necessarily form a diagnosis, it just helps people deal with their problems in a way that's effective.  Video games could be just as beneficial as me sitting down on a couch and talking to somebody.  I've done just that before and it hasn't nearly produced something effective in the way gaming has...why you ask?  Because in the end, the pain will always be there, it's just me trying to get through it, and gaming is exactly that for me.  You're too caught up in what's the right word that you're sitting here spilling your negativity all over this thread.  I put myself out there with this article, and it's exactly the response that you're giving that makes me regret doing it.  The minute you see one thing to fault with it, you're so swept up in that, that you're missing the point.  
« Last Edit: September 25, 2011, 01:22:46 AM by Kstar » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2011, 02:32:04 AM »

Nothing to add but I read the article and enjoyed it. I like the editorials here.
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Yoda
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« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2011, 02:32:43 AM »

I will be the lone dissenting voice. Calling video games a form of therapy is bad, because calling anything a form of therapy that isn't actually therapy is bad.

I disagree.  Just ask this Scientician.


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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2011, 02:46:33 AM »

I find that any hobby, when engaged passionately, can act as therapy.

Whenever a tall leggy blonde rejects my advances, bitch I am Cloud Strife.
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Ashton
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« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2011, 05:43:40 AM »

I feel like saying that my argument is based on semantics is a little disingenuous. I've already ceded that gaming, like any other hobby, has plenty of benefits to your physical and mental well being. I'm just not convinced it's therapy.

Unless the next time you pop a game into your console it properly diagnoses the condition plaguing you, that is.

That's actually disingenuous. You are mixing actual medical attention and therapeutic treatments.

Therapy isn't supposed to diagnose you. It comes AFTER the diagnosis. Consider, you go to a hospital with two complete compound fractures in your legs from a car accident, do you consult a physical therapist or an orthopedic? Of course, it would be the latter. The therapy comes after proper medical care. Nobody is saying that video games is a replacement for proper medical care, but if, for example, a patient came to me saying his anger issues are getting better after playing GTA and football, or that their healing arm felt much better after an hour of playing Wii Sports, I would hesitate to do anything other than tell them not to overdo it.

Therapy is not something that is set in stone, and needs to be considered on a case by case basis. What works for one person might not work for another, and video games are just as likely to provide therapy as, say, sports.
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Demon_Princess_Kay
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« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2011, 06:05:31 AM »

Read definition 4.

Quote
4. any act, hobby, task, program, etc., that relieves tension.


How exactly do video games not fit that definition?
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