"Playing Animal Crossing helped me transition back to the person I used to and wanted to be. It got me to a point where I figured, 'I don't need this game anymore.' I realized that I could be as efficient and productive, as I was in the game, in real life."
YouTuber, Boldly Wired, describes his struggle with depression one summer and how Animal Crossing bridged him through a dark period in his life. Animal Crossing is a pleasant, day-to-day interaction with town folks and slow progressing goals driven by an egalitarian system in favour of reciprocal, community growth.
Gaming is not a substitute for responsibility, but I appreciate and relate with how a game about simple living nudged him in the right direction. He described meaningful infrastructural management, routines, social activities, and adaptive experiences in Animal Crossing that were attuned to his state of mind, allowing him a wonderful way to reintegrate, gradually. When getting out of bed, dysregulated sleep-wake cycle, and eating (basic living necessities) were challenging, he found restitution and balance through a video game that he was eventually able to shelf as his state improved.
If you don't watch the video in entirety, please sit with the knowledge that depression is an illness. Stigma says otherwise; in a world that demands productivity, rescinds sleep, dismisses peaceful moments to eat and digest, and lauds a toxic assessment culture, stigma is allowed to linger. Bridge the gap with meaningful experiences, and if you're not living with a disability, learn about them anyway.
Video Game: Animal Crossing
YouTube: Boldly Wired