New Articles: From Gaming to Mental Health

I’ve had another few articles published here and there online (beyond my regular columns at Massively Overpowered).

A screenshot from the throwback game Legends of AriaFirstly, over at MMO Bro, I talk about old school grind, and how it was more of a “participation trophy” than modern convenience.

Next, I tried something new. I sold an article on some of my struggles living on the autism spectrum to the online medical magazine You and Me.

I have to admit it’s a bit scary to be sharing my personal struggles on so public a forum, especially as this article does paint something of a bleak picture of my life. To be honest I’m not wholly sure what motivated me to do this. I guess I thought it might be cathartic.

I think I also wanted to stretch my wings as a writer a bit. I’m happy working in games journalism, but it’s nice to flesh out my portfolio a bit. Maybe it will lead to more opportunities down the line. Specialization is the autistic way, but I don’t need to be a complete one trick pony.

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4 thoughts on “New Articles: From Gaming to Mental Health

  1. Congrats on getting some stuff published.
    As far as putting a little of your life in the spotlight goes, I see it as a positive thing. I’m guessing that putting that kind of information out there certainly helps with awareness of autism – a good thing. I do understand the being under scrutiny thing, though… not my cup of tea, either.
    Expanding your writing horizons seems to involve writing about what you know, and it sounds like you know that subject for better or worse.

  2. While I’ve never been diagnosed as on the spectrum, my answers for any sort of introversion test consistently smash into the extreme introvert category, as in not a single one indicates enjoyment of any extrovert style activity.

    I was composing “Alone in a Crowded Room” poems in my teens and chaotic get togethers with overly loud and intrusive acquaintances/work colleagues like you describe are something I usually dread/avoid/endure unless I just happen to have managed to prep my brain to enjoy it for the brief period and take time to rest in solitude the next day. Two days in a row would overload me.

    So while I may not have the extreme symptoms someone on the spectrum has, I would like to at least say that I would totally understand someone else that is having more trouble with this sort of stimulation, and that not everyone out there is a groupie extrovert who thrives in a raucous herd or pack (though there sure are a scary lot of them.)

    There are also a lot of other ways to stave off loneliness than feeling obliged to hang in a big group, perhaps one could explore them and experiment? Random ideas: calling and inviting just one person to have lunch together, hanging out at a coffee shop or cafe to people watch, smiling and making a brief connection with just one person at work, connecting digitally with all the online options we have these days, unsoweiter.

    One might also check in with yourself just how much you really require to feel content. It may not be as much as others crave. I’ve learned how to pretend and put on a friendly sociable mask to get by, sometimes I can even fool myself into momentary enjoyment, but inwardly, one is always aware that it is a very surface level thing and that true peace for me comes when I’m by myself, surrounded by nature, reading or something along those lines.

    I figure somewhere in our evolutionary history, while the majority were surviving as one big communal tribe, there were also oddball hermits that contributed to humanity’s survival in some way – maybe as shamans, watchmen, trappers, explorers or what have you. Loners who were comfortable breaking away from the mass to break new ground and only revisit the rest of teeming humanity every so often. If we picked up some of that DNA in our genes as opposed to the other kind, well, that’s how the dice rolled.

    • I’ve been getting better at figuring out what makes me happy (though actually achieving it is another matter). While I do need a lot of alone time, I definitely want to be more social than I am. It’s just hard to find social interactions that work for me. As you say, a quiet lunch or something with one person at a time is something that works well for me. I just have a hard time finding other people who want to do that stuff.

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