Life is hard. There is always something else you should be doing, someone else you should be speaking to and somewhere else you should be. Time rushes by and in the blink of an eye, a day, a week, a month is gone. Playing videogames is a lot of fun and like many others out there it has became a daily hobby for myself. After a hard day at work, there is nothing like the feeling of coming home, switching the videogames on and turning the world off.

Like many others out there I have sunk many, many hours into role playing games such as The Witcher 2 and Mass Effect, I have played football games such as Fifa and Football Manager late into the dead of night and I have whored every achievement from games such as Saints Row The Third and The Godfather 2. I wince as I check the statistics count for time spent playing and think of all the other things I should have got done in real life. I should have worked on this, fixed this, tidied this, called this person and organised that thing ready for next week…. Instead, I’ve saved a galaxy, won the champions league and became the ruthless leader of the world’s largest gang.

Sometimes, life will fight back, it will hit you with a sucker punch which will knock you upside the head and catch you off your guard. You might lose your job, you could have an accident or as was my situation, you could have a family member taken ill.

This is the point where videogames played two roles in my life. They were first of all a distraction, an object in the way of real, actual life. My responsibilities to The Play Vault website, podcast and the accumulation of my hard work over the past two years was being left by the wayside. I strayed away from videogames, I stopped playing them day after day, stopped talking about them on podcast’s and ceased writing about them. My attention, focus, care and effort was solely on that of my family. I realised what was most important in life and that nothing can get in the way of caring for your family. Not even videogames.

My family member began to get better and the second role videogames played began to come to light. I picked up the control pad once again. The games were still there. They sidelined my worries, even if only for a brief moment at a time, my problems had to take a back seat in my mind and for the few precious hours I am playing a game, I worry about nothing. I began to talk turn back towards the videogames community, to talk on forums to my fellow gamers and after a few messages of support, I have begun to fall back into this alternative yet wonderful world of gaming. When life is hard, you can take time out and when you come back to playing videogames, you have communities such as The Play Vault, Veteran Gamers and Gaming For The Elederly out there, available, ready for you and always offering their messages of support, their help, or at the very least, a fun distraction from your worries.

Playing games is brilliant. The videogames community is like no other. Thank You Videogames.

Special thanks to the Gaming For The Elderly community, The Veteran Gamers guys, The Gamesmen RPG Family and The Play Vault’s believers.