‘Twitch Therapy’- 3 Reasons Why I would Recommend Game Streaming
‘Twitch Therapy’- 3 Reasons Why I would Recommend Game Streaming
During the pandemic I craved two things: my hobbies and human interaction. I came to the realisation that a pandemic-induced boom in online solutions triggered by the need for people to engage and interact had changed the dynamics of how we explore our hobbies and interests as a society. For gamers – from the fully fledged gamer geeks to the gaming hobbyists like myself – Twitch came to the rescue.
Prior to the pandemic, like everyone else, I enjoyed several hobbies. From gaming to socialising, attending events and networking, volunteering and enjoying art and culture, dressing up for comic cons, or going shopping as a fashion fanatic, even attending music festivals and exploring places in the UK and abroad while travelling. Then all of a sudden, like some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare the whole world was thrust into isolation.
Though I am one of the lucky few with a family surrounding me during the lockdown, I found myself spiralling into depression from the sheer lack of entertainment and social interaction. This became a common occurrence for most households; in June 2020 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported that ‘almost one in five adults (19.2%) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression, indicated by moderate to severe depressive symptoms, during the coronavirus pandemic’. It is little surprise then that as humans we find solutions towards fulfilling that void in life to overcome isolation-induced depression. Entertainment and social interaction is core to our being and so we sought out virtual means for social interaction and created a mass movement: Twitch Streaming.
Technology became a larger part of my life during the pandemic. From online food deliveries soaring to video-calling friends and family across the globe telling them that I love them and miss them. While experiencing real-life has no direct alternative, as humans we become resourceful in the face of adversity and in an effort to practice resilience we find options to engage with the world outside the four walls of our homes. As a gamer, like millions of others across the globe, I turned to Twitch – and the statistics are staggering, ‘according to StreamElements and Arsenal.gg, the live-streaming sector grew a full 45 percent between March and April (2020); year over year, the industry is up by 99 percent. Which is truly impressive — those gains are directly attributable to the novel coronavirus.’
Reason 1: Gaming Regularly and Good Habit Building
Part of the idea around Twitch is to set up a regular timetable for your gaming sessions. This is so that followers/viewers who are interested in attending your live gaming session know when exactly to expect to find you online. They can be aware of your session, and if they especially enjoy watching your games and interacting with you, then you can make sure not to let your visitors down by being vigilant with a timetable. Not only this, I find that having a regular timetable for myself, makes me commit to my gaming as a hobbyist, rather than being a gaming fanatic that plays every single day. With my timetable I am able to make time for both my daily responsibilities, my requirements around my disability, and my gaming hobby.
Reason 2: Social Interaction and Gamer Community
It can be an incredibly scary thought to interact socially on Twitch. For example, I get visibly tired quickly and have to work my sessions around my disability. However, the world of Twitch in my experience has been a wonderful environment where people come to enjoy my channel and don’t concentrate on my disability. They are kind and spur me on! It is my gaming they are interested in and my followers want to interact with me. I have been added to several Discord channels as an extension of my twitch gaming and it is such a great way to connect socially with other gamers. It is a fantastic opportunity to say hello to people, to introduce yourself, to interact with people and tell them ‘hey, I will be on at 6pm on Thursday, come along!’. Gamers support gamers and you will be able to experience the joy of how supportive gamers are.
Reason 3: Therapy and Wellbeing with Gaming
My lifelong health condition is a source of stress for me, although I have learnt to live with it. I find that hobbies bring joy and relaxation to my life; gaming and game streaming especially offer a therapy to me that goes beyond just a hobby. I game for fun and I have found that gaming transports me to fantasy worlds I could only imagine. I love fantasy fiction, intricate digital design and art – all these wonderful creative aspects come together in the virtual environments of gaming. I feel elated and this in turn energises me. By the end of a gaming session I feel my endorphins rising and this helps me feel less tired.
Furthermore, I am a social butterfly, so when I stream my gaming and spend time chatting to my followers, narrating my gameplay, I find myself overcome with energy. I love attending events, networking and engaging with people since my day-job is in PR and Communications. So, I find the combination of gaming and streaming an essential therapy that feeds my body and mind, as a result revitalising and calming me to the point that I can deal with anything in life. Gaming therapy is a thing!
Thanks again to Maria!
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