Note: The author wishes to thank Real Otaku Gamer for allowing him to write this piece on the website, given its personal nature.
This is one of the more personal things I will be writing for this site. This is because I will be discussing some things that affect me on a personal level. I like many others in the world, suffer from depression and anxiety. I have had bouts of depressive periods and anxiety struggles for a number of years now and they take their toll on me. An escape has always been video games, but video games don’t always work. I often feel scared, lost and confused. That is until one series ended up helping me in more ways than I could have imagined.
When I first played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I was not expecting much. I knew the game had a strong reputation, but felt I would be underwhelmed in comparison to the amount of hype its fans had built up around it. What I found instead was a therapy for my troubles. Skyrim, and the other games in the series, provided not just an escape, but an outlet. When I was at my low points, I could slip into the games and feel better. That may sound like escapism, but it wasn’t. And it wasn’t, because after I would play the games I would feel more confident in my life. It helped me deal with my anxiety and I could manage better as a result.
I used to write a lot of poetry, and had a desire to publish a collection. However, when depression nd anxiety took its toll on me, I began to lose all motivation to continue writing. Playing around in the world of Tamriel helped return that motivation to me. The way it did that was not conventional either. I had discovered game modding and was amazed at what I could do to the games. It seemed like the games had become more than games, they had become a canvas for creators. Bethesda always made the games open to modding and that generosity they showed the fans, ended up helping me rediscover my love of writing. Since playing the games I have resumed writing poetry and have written two short stories.
I am not one of those people who becomes obsessed with the games to the point that they lose themselves completely into it.. I don’t see the characters as anything other than fiction, but that is what appeals to me. I am a person who needs to be creative in order to feel fulfilled and imagined what can be done to the characters by modders and series writers of future games makes me realize I have my own stories to tell. I have struggled with depression and the loss of motivation that came with it, and feel this gave me a way out of that dark hole. I see this as a way to inspire my own creativity in a helpful manner and that leads me to a better state of mind.
There is no cure for depression. It is a cancer that eats away at the mind and stays with you. I have fought it for over a decade, with my ups and downs, but with The Elder Scrolls series, I found something that was able to let me find my own way sorting my issues. It isn’t the only way but it is one way. So therefore I must say thank you to Bethesda Softworks. Your games have helped me so much. I look forward to your future games, and I hope the rumor of Elder Scrolls VI being set in Valenwood is true. The stories that are there to tell, will help me and others. But whatever story you wish to tell, I will be there and I will be inspired by it in a good way. Thank you got helping me and others more than you realize.