Video games are an undeniable part of many of our lives, as is the negativity that frequently tags along – the addiction, grumpiness, caffeine, and general lack of sun. If you’re like me, you might find yourself experiencing some guilt when you over-indulge. You could be a real member of society if you didn’t spend 8 hours last night getting flashbanged by teammates.
As it turns out, being a gamer and also a contributing member of society are not mutually exclusive. I’ve taken the liberty of listing some ways you can do both:
- Strive to be a decent person both in and out of game. Staying positive in the midst of the negativity of others will greatly benefit both you and those around you. In the moment, it may feel rewarding or completely justified to react negatively to someone who is feeding, raging, or otherwise, but you should go on to play your best and ignore the person who is definitely having a worse day than you.
- Next time you’re in a game, compliment someone – you never know if you’ll be making someone’s day by recognizing them. Or, try to turn a bad situation into a humorous one. Do anything except help fuel the negativity that we so often come across.
- For many of us, staying positive is hard, and we won’t always do it. Fortunately, there’s more ways to rectify our consciences. Consider gaming for unhealthy amounts of time in order to raise money for charity! Extra Life encourages participants to game nonstop for 24 hours to raise money for local hospitals. I held my first marathon last year and it was incredibly fun – a dining room table stocked with alcohol, Red Bull, and a game-filled Steam library. With help from donors, we powered through all 24 hours and ended our Twitch marathon donating $2,275 to the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Nationally, Extra Life has raised over $14 million dollars for hospitals and is growing larger each year!
- Recognize when good things are happening in your backyard! From May 25th – June 1st, Ignite Gaming Lounge will be donating 25% of their package sales to their own Extra Life campaign. If you can’t be bothered by any of the suggestions above, take the opportunity to stop by and stock up on hours and get your gaming fix.
Playing games is a largely self-serving activity and is associated with a lot of negativity, but that shouldn’t prevent you from giving back. There’s no better time to do something positive and feel great about it.
Megan Thaler is an avid PC gamer who helps represent Extra Life Chicago. A former cook and musician who found her niche in gaming, she believes in enacting a positive influence on communities and supporting charitable causes. You can find her on Twitch (Silvare), Instagram (Silvare_VoidRay), and Twitter (@SilvareVoidRay).