Video games are enjoyed by many people of all ages. They have come a long way since the 1970’s. For some people, they are used to pass the time, but for others, video games have gone beyond being a leisurely activity.
Fabio Rodriguez, 30, based outside the Inland Empire and a video game enthusiast for over 15 years, is a two-time cancer survivor that sees video games as more than just a form of entertainment. He attributes video games to saving his life.
Rodriguez states, “Video games have allowed me to rediscover simple human functions. For instance, I have cancer. When I had a majority of it removed, my motor skills were among many things that were disrupted. I couldn’t walk or talk and the control of my limbs wasn’t great. Eating was difficult.”
Studies show that there is a link to video games and motor skills, which is exemplified in research articles by the Association for Psychological Science. For Rodriguez, video games have helped him through his treatment.
Rodriguez says, “Video games allowed me to improve my problem-solving. It also helps with my hand-eye coordination immensely. All those mobility and functions I had lost were coming back. It wouldn’t have been possible without video games.”
Video games continue to impact people in ways they might not even have thought of. Eden Nook, 33, based outside the Inland Empire, says video games have given him the motivation to learn new skills and excellent opportunities.
Nook started learning video editing and putting clips of video games online. After a good degree of success, he was recruited by a YouTube channel by someone who saw one of the videos he uploaded. He then used the skills he amassed to create his own website.
“I only have my current job because I talked about creating videos in an interview,” says Nook. “I don’t have the required qualifications for my current position, but I mentioned it by chance and they offered me a different position – an IT one.”
He further notes that video games have allowed him to manage projects and work in teams related to games.
Nook says, “Beyond education and career, I’ve made a lot of good friends through video games. I’ve had experience working in teams and managing them in projects related to games. I’ve even had a direct influence in other people’s business success by advising them on the issues with their games. These have all impacted me.” Nook didn’t see himself going through this path if it wasn’t for video games. He now works at an IT firm as a Learning Management Systems Officer.
Video games to other people are also seen as a way of connecting with other people. Axel Cabrera, 26, says without video games, he wouldn’t have been able to meet his long time friends and work relating to video games.
Cabrera says, “Video games to me are a means of connecting with other people. I met people through video games that I still talk to a play to this day. Also, because of video games, I was able to travel and go to many video game conventions and meet celebrities that I wouldn’t have thought of meeting someday. It also enabled me to work in big video game tournaments and meet awesome people and learn new skills. Ever since the virus, playing video games have kept me sane since a lot of the things I used to love doing were put on hold for an indefinite period.”
Coachella Valley resident, April Serrato, 27, also attributes video games as a means of improving her social life.
Serrato says, “Video games have truly opened a door to make friends with great people that have helped me become sociable, even if I’m still too shy to be the one to initiate conversation. It’s helped immensely to be a lot more open about myself to strangers I normally wouldn’t talk to.”
To all these people, video games continue to inspire them, help them learn new things, connect them to new people, and gain new opportunities in their careers. Video games continue to impact people in ways they wouldn’t see coming. People can even associate themselves with the characters they play as on the screen.
Serrato says, “Without games, I wouldn’t have met most of the people I know today. Most of the impact could be taken from high school years and the events they’d hold there, and it sort of blossomed from there. But the big inspiration was my older brother’s introduction to the Sega Genesis and PS1 to me and my sister – it felt like a groundbreaking thing, especially since we’ve never had anything of the sort before – other than me mindlessly playing flash games and minigames on Gaia Online and Neopets. The characters in games were a big deal for me, and who they were resonated with myself. I felt close with them. A lot of that comes from the Street Fighter series and growing up on that with Power Rangers. Ryu has been a long-time personal character I’ve held close for a reason because of his never ending journey to strengthen himself and resolve to do more.”