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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Finding confidence from leveling up

Friends+play+video+games+in+The+Wave%2C+UMass+Boston%E2%80%99s+game+room+located+in+the+Upper+Level+of+the+Campus+Center.+Photo+by+Olivia+Reid+%2F+Photography+Editor.
Olivia Reid
Friends play video games in The Wave, UMass Boston’s game room located in the Upper Level of the Campus Center. Photo by Olivia Reid / Photography Editor.

Video games are mostly seen as something that’s meant for having fun or for winding down after a long day. While there are days where I use it as an escape from life, I’ve also found that in some moments, it’s also the thing that grounds me.

There are times where my self esteem or confidence aren’t where I’d like them to be. Strangely enough, video games have given me these boosts when I need a pick-me-up. They’ve helped me improve myself.

Video games are known to utilize problem-solving, adaptability and resilience. They help you see how capable you are at on the spot thinking and perseverance. All of these things have made me realize that I’m capable of much more than I’d originally thought! I admit, I used to very much be an “I can’t” person. I’d often deny the opportunity to succeed out of fear of failing. While I’ve been working on this, I can say that video games are one of the main tools that helped me realize my potential, as silly as that sounds.

These games have shown me that I’m resilient. Sometimes I’m stuck fighting a specific boss for hours, maybe taking a couple of breaks after each defeat. However, simply accepting these losses leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I find myself coming back time and time again, each time getting closer to finally beating the enemy. Then, it happens; I’ve defeated them, and I instantly feel satisfied. I see how much I kept trying and trying, and once beating it, I feel immense pride.

I knew that I wouldn’t feel this happiness if I had just given up, so I’ve applied this mentality to my overall life. Sometimes, I’ll fail at something and I’ll have to keep trying, but my motivation comes from knowing that each time I fail, the victory will be even more rewarding. I feel more confident because of video games, knowing that if I face my obstacles, I can eventually succeed as long as I persevere.

Another thing from video games that has helped me is the instant feedback. They’re able to give you real time responses on whether you’re approach is working or not. While life often isn’t filled with this type of feedback, it’s shown me what works for me. I’ve been able to experiment on what kind of learner I am and what best drives me toward success. It allows me to see how quick of a problem solver I am, and shows that I can succeed if I find the best way that works for me.

I also play competitively, and in situations with a bunch of other real players, you’re able to see exactly how your skills compare to theirs. It’s another kind of instant feedback that allows me to see how much I’ve improved over time. Seeing myself get better against the enemies is a huge confidence booster when it comes to seeing my capabilities. It makes me feel amazing and just leaves me wanting to see how high I can go.

Games have truly allowed me to feel like my best self. Sometimes, a good game will have my hands shaking and my heart pumping with adrenaline. I’ll do something that I’ve been practicing for hours, maybe even days, and once I succeed, I’ll feel like I’m on top of the world. I’ll walk away from my computer smiling, feeling a sense of accomplishment. This feeling tends to seep into other aspects of my life.

Since playing, I refuse to limit myself by saying “I can’t,” because I’ve been able to constantly prove myself wrong. I feel capable of facing all of my obstacles, while also appreciating the challenge in the moment, because I know it will only be that much more satisfying once I overcome it.

I’ve seen myself grow in my academic and social settings, simply because I’ve seen what I can accomplish if I don’t give up. I’ve achieved so much when just trying to apply that same perseverance that I have during my games.

Of course, it’s important to find a balance. There have been times when I only relied on video games to get that confidence that I feel like I’ve been lacking, and that got very unhealthy very fast. I just make sure to know when it’s becoming “too much,” and take a little break if needed. Regardless, they’ve shown me that when I truly try, I can surprise myself with how far I can go. I make sure that I know I’m capable of anything I put my mind to, and this mentality has truly changed my life.

I still use my games to have simple fun and wind down, as I think it’s important to have things that are solely meant for enjoyment. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and I’m just lucky that the thing that brings me happiness is also the thing that makes me feel better about myself!

While this doesn’t have to be games for you, make sure to find the thing that makes you feel good! It can be a self care routine, walks and exercise, or even just relaxing on the couch. Not everything has to be used for self improvement and that’s okay! I hope you all find the things that make you happy, as well as the things that allow you to “level up” in life!

About the Contributors
Mercy Moncada, Opinions Writer
Olivia Reid, Photo Editor