“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”
Right before I started grad school I started non-consciously making a list of the things I would have to protect/hide/cage in order to appear more mature, sophisticated, and intelligent in my program.
Everyone has a list. A grow the f*ck up list. Sometimes it’s labeled “Why I’m not an adult” or “Reasons why People Start Tuning me Out.” The list features contributions from friends, family, public figures, and culture.
But why did my love for gaming make its way on there?
This question took me back to an undergraduate class I took called World Literature. It was a small class for a big university and the professor beautifully constructed a reading list and topics of conversation. It was like being in an academic book club- for credit! Another student and I contributed the most in the class discussions. One day for some reason the PlayStation game Journey came up and both the other star student and I excitedly acknowledged we had played the game. The professor looked puzzled and retorted “I wouldn’t have thought the two of you played video games” with a raised eyebrow.
And there it was: the feeling of being discredited based on your hobbies or interests.
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely experience a fair number of eyebrow raises.
So maybe you’ve let those eyebrows make you retreat back into yourself. Maybe you’d like to integrate your interests with your career as an emerging adult. Maybe you’d like to examine and change your relationship with games. Maybe being a gamer has nothing to do with why you’re seeking counseling but boy would it be nice if you didn’t have to explain to your counselor what a guild is?
My hope is that you can sigh with relief knowing there is a professional out there who will not judge you or stereotype you for gaming. You will take the lead in regards to how much you’d like to incorporate this part of you into therapy. We may even be able to create some character sheets and in the future* do some therapeutic DnD campaigns.
If you’re interested in connecting, you can e-mail me here. I am accepting new clients in South Austin at this time, so I’d be happy to set up a free 30-minute consultation with you.
Check out this video where Mike Langlois describes what gamer-affirmative therapy means:
Watch Boonie Sripom’s video talking about the benefits of playing as an adult: