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Mental Health Stories

Gaming and Mental Health – My story- Online gaming or Why CONLINE?
(CW- ‘depression / low mood’- nothing too heavy)
I’d love to hear your stories of gaming and how they have helped.
Gaming and mental health- Online gaming specifically.

I’ve written about gaming and mental health before, socialisation, activities, communities, controlled risk taking, the ability to give back and help others. I want to focus on online gaming.
I am very strongly introverted, dyslexic and dyspraxic I struggle to have fun ‘normally’ at the best of times and I partly created HBG so I can be in control, give back (I love giving back and helping others) and creating a safe welcoming space for as many as I can. This is why we are pushing on with public online events and our online convention in a world when they are scarcer and I assume most groups have gone private. – It’s very easy once you are comfortable to forgot about others.

I’ve struggled for the last two years fatigue, low mood, brain fog so online has been so important to me. For context during Covid I ran 4 to 5 RPGs a week, it’s slowly been dropping to one a month for the last 6 months.

The main benefits of online is no need to travel, no need for child care or pet sitters and you can play again with anyone around the world as well as dip in for an hour or two.

Most importantly for those struggling with energy, depression, motivation or mobility, it lets you just be present. You can join your online board games, or RPG and don’t worry that you haven’t washed, shaved put on clothes clean or otherwise, The idea of gaming with friends when the idea of leaving house is beyond you is amazing, let alone not wanting to be in a fun space and bring the mood down.

You can be present, and lurk, curled up in a ball if you want. It’s good to let the organiser or story teller know (especially for RPGs) so the spot light can pass you if / until you have the energy to participate. I’m also a fan of the text comments or memes which lets folk participate without breaking the flow.
Personally I know if a lot of my RPGs had been in person over the last two years I would not have attended, my groups are also often aware I may be 5 minutes late as my quick pregame naps over runs.
I am also grateful about in person events MAKING me leave the house too.

It’s amazing how wide this hobby is so even if you have a bad session try again, try a different group.
Thanks again to the whole community who makes our gaming spaces awesome, please get in involved, join games, advertise and run your own games. Volunteer with us.

If there is something we’ve missed or can do please let us know we do our best but we are busy volunteers who probably should spend more time looking after ourselves.
Keep being awesome, kind to yourself and each other

Feedback welcome I plan to turn this and other stories into a blog post as part of our knowledge sharing.
Finally a sorry to everyone I haven’t been to support or stay in touch with over the last two years.
So please share your stories with me- email is fine 🙂

More shorter testimonials Here
Testimonials – Herefordshire Board Gamers