Tumblr can be full of all manner of content, from exploring the tongue-in-cheek question of how videogames made you gay, to porn, to fanart, to bickering drama, and to stories that make you realize how awesome games can be. Appropriately, this new Tumblr is called How Games Saved My Life.
The stories range to quite a few different topics, from dealing with loss, to helping deal with anxiety, diseases, and various other things we come across in life. Not surprisingly, that list includes one trans woman's story of finding herself in female protagonists. Morgan McCormick tells the story of that initial click with Perfect Dark, proceeding to Eternal Darkness, and how games that featured male protagonists still allowed her to look at some of the strong women that surrounded them (such as the Metal Gear Solid series). The full story looks into more games, and how Morgan has seemingly found herself in a more comfortable position in her life with her gaming girlfriend.
Then there's James Abrazado, who details using an MMO to make that initial step into coming out. It's a story with which I can personally sympathize. His story centers around City of Villains, and making a friend in a virtual space to whom he could come out, and who accepted him, encouraged him, and helped him during that period of his life. As coming out stories go, it's certainly a lesson in how we can make use of digital spaces, where we don't have to be our real names, and can test out our identities.
There's also Shawn King, who used games early on to just escape from life. Any form of media can offer escapism, and videogames are no stranger to such fact. However, he found later in life that the fact that he could have same-sex romances in games life Fable meant that he could explore that facet of himself and learn to accept it. Whenever people argue against having this content in games, this seems like the perfect example for why it should: any medium in which you can be represented, is a medium that can help you accept yourself in safety. It is no replacement for eventually interacting with other people, but as King displays in his piece, it can provide you that stepping stone on to other shores.
These stories also make a case for how a safe space in a game or game community can help people deal with any number of important life changes.
Do you have your own story? How Games Saved My Life's submission guidelines are right here.
Many thanks for Ashly Burch of Hey Ash for putting this together.