Greetings! My name is Josh, although I am most commonly known as “Jsho”. Whenever I think of what gaming means to me, I think about how It has played a pivotal role in molding me into the fun-loving, nerd I am today. Ever since I was a child I think about how much time I’ve spent playing video games, and regret not a single moment spent in front of a console as a child, or in front of my PC now that I have reached adulthood. Games have always been a method of escape for me, they’ve taken me away when life wasn’t going right, or when I didn’t have anyone to vent to.

Gaming has also allowed me to create new friendships, that I never would have had if it wasn’t for gaming.

I’ll always remember in 6th grade losing my best friend to cancer during Easter break at school. I didn’t know what to do, or where to turn. I was lost, and as a child you’re not sure why this kind of stuff would happen to you, or how the world could be so cruel. So I locked myself in my room and booted up The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I had already beaten the game as a kid but decided to go back and play and start a new save. It was in the moment you meet up with the Happy Mask salesman and he exclaims “You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?” that I set my controller down and began to cry. It was in that exact moment that I felt the game was specifically calling out to me, and me alone. It felt as if Nintendo had specifically engineered that game to get me through what was the hardest moment of my life, and as a result I spent all Easter break long completing the game to 100%, spending countless hours losing myself in Termina.

Gaming gave me back my life as a child, and as an adult I spend a lot of my free time either hanging out playing some games solo, or hopping on discord and playing with friends. Gaming has allowed me to keep tabs on a lot of my friends that have moved away for work, and hang out with them daily as if they’ve never left. We’ve allowed our friendships to continue to grow despite being hundreds of miles away from one another. Gaming has also allowed me to create new friendships, that I never would have had if it wasn’t for gaming. I was in a WoW guild way back in Vanilla with two brothers who ended up living on the same street as I did. Had I never been in a random guild on “Skullcrusher” (my server back in the day) who knows if I would have that friendship I have today? Gaming has taught me how to be patient, how to be a good friend, and how to be a great teammate. I owe a lot of the person I am today (for better or for worse) to gaming, and I wouldn’t change a second of it. Gaming means everything to me, and I cannot imagine how different my life would be, if gaming wasn’t an outlet I could turn to.