I’ve spoken at length about the value of games and the measure of their beneficial impact on players. I’ve cited research studies, anecdotes, and talked about my own experiences. I’ve brought in guest bloggers (and will continue to do so) to vary what you hear from these pages. But I am glad to be able to point you to the words of others, people to whom I have no connection whatever.
I’ve just come upon the reference to a new Tumblog about “How Games Saved My Life” and thought it worth sharing here. When Ashly Burch posted about how playing Harvest Moon helped her deal with the stomach pains of crippling anxiety on her own blog, she ended the piece by asking her readers whether a gaming experience helped them get through a difficult time. So many people responded that she started a separate Tumblr feed of “testimonials to the positive, life-changing power of video games.” The comments there are worth reading in addition to the Tumblr feed — not everyone has a blog from which to add to Tumblr.
I’d grumble about the positive effects of non-electronic games not being asked to the party, but Tumblr’s demographics skew strongly to the younger crowd who nearly all play video games (per the Pew research). So it’s really not a surprise she didn’t extend the invitation to the smaller proportion of people who might also play tabletop games. Perhaps someone will take this hint to start another Tumblr feed, or maybe Ash Burch will make a point to open the door a little wider.
I’d definitely hope some readers of this blog might have tales to share to Ms Burch, or can recommend some of their acquitances consider doing so. I can’t imagine there aren’t some amazing stories happening in libraries that offer games.
In any case, these are the unvarnished stories told by the people who lived them, about the people around them. It’s a short feed right now, because it has only just begun. I’m betting it will grow and thrive, and the stories will only continue to shed new perspectives on the value and benefits of games in people’s lives.