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Video Games: A potential solution for mental health struggles?

How an individual’s journey into virtual worlds helped to escape the constant bleakness of the pandemic
SUD Spotlight Image_Eldorado Jan 2021

Video games have long been a popular form of entertainment, providing endless hours of fun and enjoyment for gamers of all ages for quite a few decades now. 

And while video games are a great recreational activity for taking breaks from the responsibilities of everyday life, the COVID-19 pandemic situation may have revealed how important video games can really be for people’s mental health.

One individual who was really affected by the pandemic is Jonah Petruic of Calgary, Alberta. Petruic has anxiety disorder and dysthymia (also referred to as “persistent depressive disorder”), and he admits that his inability to visit friends and family really took a toll on his mental health, especially over the holidays.

“It was Christmas that really hit me the hardest,” Petruic said. “My mom lives out of province, and with the spike in cases here, it was not safe for her to risk flying or driving out here. Then, the restrictions once again tightened, which brought about the need for me to be more responsible in terms of who I see and where I go… I had to cancel whatever remaining plans I had… It’s not easy to have to once again close your bubble of interactions to practically everyone.”

While the pandemic has been tough for Petruic, he has found that playing online video games with his friends, such as Call of Duty: Warzone and Phasmophobia, has yielded positive results for his mental health.

“While playing games, my focus is on what’s happening in the game. It’s not on the state of the world, or fallacies my brain has made up,” Petruic said. “I feel re-energized after playing, because it has given my brain a much needed break from constant worry.”

Petruic also mentioned that playing online multiplayer games has provided a sense of normalcy during the pandemic, as they have allowed him to do things he would normally do with his friends like make jokes, share laughter, and accomplish goals together.

A recent study by Oxford University researchers, finding that there is a positive correlation between video games and mental health, further affirms how gaming has helped Petruic on his mental health journey throughout this pandemic (news about the study can be found at this CTV News article).

Overall, the most popular type of game that helped individuals with their mental health, among those who were interviewed, were online multiplayer games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. This is because they allowed players to connect with loved ones and close cohorts in a time where face-to-face interactions are not possible. 

If you would like to give Call of Duty: Modern Warfare a try, you can purchase an account through a trusted gaming marketplace like Eldorado allows you to buy and sell game currencies, items, accounts, and boosting services.