Written for The Argo by Sierra Snead
When you emerge into a world built for the able-bodied, how is it you go about carving out a comfortable existence and assert some sense of purpose? I often asked myself this once I fell victim to an assortment of gastroenterological ailments, as they took my run-of-the-mill college student life and flipped it upside down into a journey filled with pain, triumph, and discovery.
The act of merely eating, one that once was a comfort, has become a minefield that I attempt to navigate with very little institutional and social support. It is no secret that Black Americans are already in a state of crisis in this country. Combining that with the other intersectional facets of my identity, being a chronically ill, impoverished, queer woman, I have found myself in the utmost unique journey with distinctive complexities and mental strife to accompany it. Through it, I have found equally distinctive ways to manage these difficult situations that I felt would be beneficial to the many other Americans in today’s trying times.
Shockingly enough, in a reality filled with chaos and uncertainty, it seems that the realm of fantasy has offered solace to many people, including myself, from the harsher aspects of humanity. Through the columns of The Argo, I wish to offer perspective on an outlet to other people looking for an escape from worldly negativity.
The world of gaming is often outlandish to the uninitiated, as people take games for what they are and far beyond by employing their own modifications. To put it into perspective, imagine a sandbox universe that someone else has created for you with the explicit purpose of you taking it further than their own imagination could have ever stretched.
For people like me with anxiety and panic disorders, immersion in a fantasy universe gives us a sense of control, and not only serves as exposure therapy to anxious situations that we can face in the real world, but also offers an actual reprieve from the ills of anxiety. When I get immersed in a game I dive deep, and can spend hours wandering a virtual world, able to ignore even severe chronic pain because I get so much joy out of this simple practice.
There are a million realities out there, all with their own rules and stories, and I can almost guarantee there exists some game out there to please every single person on this planet. It is for this reason that I ask my Stockton community to open their mind, and try something new that may benefit them greatly. Whether it be pulling weeds in the animal-dominated world of Animal Crossing, or perfecting skill and reflex to compete in first-person shooters; the possibilities are endless.
For people that share feelings and situations similar to mine, an alternate reality becomes your only escape when you are trapped inside every day.
Senior Biochemistry Student Stockton University
Categories: Your Voice