Grief and Gaming - rhotaphota Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Grief and Gaming

It’s been a while since I got any enjoyment out of a video game. This isn’t due to the games I’m playing, or the way I’m playing them, or anything like that. For me, video games are different from movies or TV in that I can’t really play video games when I’m depressed or extremely sad. It’s not a passive thing where I can just sit and watch. It just seems like it’s not really effective in distracting from grief, at least for me. I just can’t stand most games that I usually love, from GTA to the Arkham games.

A little more than a week ago someone I knew died. I was related to her, but we weren’t particularly close. It was mostly my fault that we weren’t close, among other things. We happened to go to the same school, so most of the people I’m around every day knew her too. It’s one of those cases where you didn’t know what you had before you lose it. I guess it’s really the first time I’ve had to deal with the death of someone who isn’t in their eighties, so I really don’t have any prior experience with this kind of thing.

For the first few days, I didn’t take the news of her passing well at all. I mostly just stayed in bed all day and did nothing. Random crying was accompanied by crushing guilt. I had no idea what to do, and I pretty much hated myself. Other people in my family were helping with planning the funeral and so on, while I was just lying there being useless.  I was ignoring people who just wanted to talk try to make me feel better. Basically, I was being kind of a Dick.

It didn’t feel right to do anything. I didn’t want to talk to any of my friends, I didn’t want to do anything to try to make myself feel better, I wasn’t really even eating. If she couldn’t do it, why should I be allowed to? Eventually, and I don’t know why, it just felt right to play Super Mario World. It didn’t really make me feel better, but at least it was something. I was playing it and it made me feel a little less awful I guess.

 I don’t know why. Mario games are pure fun, and I really didn’t want that at that point. I’ve played enough of World to basically be able to play it blindfolded; maybe that was a factor in it. I wouldn’t say that a Mario game took me out of my stupor, but it helped. Of course, family and friends were more important to that, but Mario got me through a point when I was ready to talk to them. This may sound a little dumb, and I whole heartedly agree. We all have different ways of dealing with grief, and mine just happens to be playing a twenty year old game about a middle plumber who jumps on turtles. Who knew.

Eventually, I started eating again. I stopped spending my days in bed and helped do things. I guess everything is getting back to normal, or as close as it can. I’m not ignoring people anymore. I don’t know when I’ll try to write another blog. I don’t even know when I’ll try to play my Xbox. They just seem so trivial after someone dies I guess. Hopefully I’ll be able to start posting blogs regularly again at some point in the future. I just have no idea at this point. Thanks for reading.

RIP M.R.


 

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