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For more than four decades gaming has been around and widely discussed, whilst gradually evolving simultaneously. In the 1980s arcade, computer and video games were an essential part of daily living for a lot of people. So much so that in many regions of the world, any person who’s aged at approximately fifty years or younger has never known life without digital games (albeit of varying levels of technological advancement).

I myself was born at the opening of the 1990s and entered adulthood in 2008. So while I was growing up gaming was a major part of my life. It is true that technology has definitely evolved and improved over the past thirty years. However all of the games I would play were the precursors of what is available now, and technological advancement was something that was gradually introduced into my life as time moved on. Thus despite not growing up with the VR/AR games and digital sandbox games (including Minecraft) that I currently play, I did at least get many years of preparation beforehand. Therefore the very latest technology doesn’t overwhelm me too much, and I have been able to use it to improve my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing in the present day.

When done in excess (as is the case with everything else) gaming is not of course good for my mental health and general daily living. Though I do find that when its used appropriately, gaming and living with modern technology is very beneficial, and it aids me in being able to do all of the traditional necessities required in life. 

Initially I can give an example of taking breaks and using Minecraft on my iPad, whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by noise and sensory stimuli in shopping centers. That has been discussed in previous blogs. Another example of which I can again give is the use of Ai and chatbots to help me with communication skills and socialising. Ai talks to me in a style that I’m much more familiar with, and I can even get chatbots to speak to me as if they were any character of my choice. This helps me build up enough social/communication skills in a comfortable environment, prior to using what I’ve learned to successfully communicate with fellow humans.

However in previous blogs I haven’t given a description of how I use VR devices/headsets to help me manage sitting in enclosed vehicles (such as cars, planes, buses and trains). Wearing a VR headset gives my mind an illusion of being in a much larger area. Travelling in vehicles is a necessary part of life, yet if I don’t use any kind of tools to manage my sensory anxiety I always end up having meltdowns. These loud meltdowns may happen when I’m either inside the vehicle, or just after I disembark. So to cut a long story short I must be very alert and productive about managing my anxiety levels prior to these potential episodes occurring.

Meltdowns always occur if I’m overwhelmed with sensory stimuli or if I’m feeling pressured about having to participate in conversations that are beyond my level of communication. This is where technology is an absolute godsend for both myself and other people in the same or similar situation to me.

It is definitely true that gaming and technology still need to be monitored in certain ways. When it’s not used appropriately gaming can take over a person’s life (if used in excess), and playing games that involve a high level of violence are almost always not psychologically healthy at all. Even if a person plays violent games as an outlet for strong emotions or anger this must be carefully monitored.

However when games and technology are used appropriately they benefit a person’s mental, emotional and physical health enormously. There are so many essential things in my daily life (that don’t relate to technology or gaming) that I would never be able to do if it weren’t for these modern tools assisting me, by stabilising all of my thoughts and emotions, as well as by them teaching me about social interaction.