Every few weeks a story surfaces concerning violence and depravity attributed to video games. A grown man beats his daughter to death for turning off his console before he could save his progress in Fallout 3. A man guns down seventy people and is later found to be a fan of Call of Duty. A lonely high school kid stands up after a marathon session of Ragnarok Online and a blood clot that had been biding time in his leg rises, converges with his brain, and kills him without delay.
The intent behind these carefully crafted news stories is to demonize video games – a new form of entertainment that many people refuse to accept out of ignorance and snobbery. Such stories are easy to disarm: if video games didn't exist, something else would be in their place. If it wasn't a disrupted game of Fallout 3, it would be a disrupted television show; if it wasn't Call of Duty, it would be military novels or memorabilia; if it wasn't Ragnarok Online, it would be the Internet itself. Video games are not the core of the problem, only facilitators no more potent than guns, religion, other technology, and ideologies.
What rarely surfaces are stories of hope, redemption, and salvation attributed to video games. A foolish man might claim that this is so because there are no such stories. A wiser man knows that they exist in droves. Here are five such stories focusing on the genre we love, collected for your enlightenment and for the argument that video games are important and benevolent creations. RPGs are therapy.