Last week, this site saw a dramatic leap in views. I wish I could sit here and say that it had to do with something that I did, but we all know that’s not the case. A lot’s happened in only a few days and many of us are dreading a very long next few years. People that I’ve interacted with strictly about games have shifted their entire social media focus to that of political issues. I’ve found myself doing much the same.
Having a voice, being part of the conversation; warning people, helping them, it’s all very important right now, and it’s difficult for a lot of us to step away from that to continue our lives as usual. How do I go on about some weird indie game when friends are suffering?
I then thought about that upsurge in views and why it happened. In that moment of fear and confusion, people were looking for an escape. For the first time, it felt like the work I was doing was important in some way, even if it only gave someone refuge for a few minutes. In those few minutes, I hope they were able to ease their minds, to smile and maybe even laugh in spite of everything else going on. It’s at the core of why I’ve always wanted to be an artist, an entertainer. I want to help people forget about their lives, just as so many have done for me.
The idea of escapism can be often misunderstood, as if the people seeking it are somehow weak or looking to “run away” from their problems. I never saw it that way. Self-care is important, and major tenet of that is putting yourself in the best positions to handle a problem, even if it means you have to step away and re-approach it later. Escaping to a world where we have a control, where we are strong and capable, where we alone can stop evil… it’s empowering, and we use that to de-stress, to put ourselves back in a position to reenter a world where our fears still exist. Do we always win the same way as we do in those fantasy worlds? Obviously not. Sometimes we don’t have to. Sometimes simply going to our virtual farm and planting seeds for a few hours is all we need to reassess our position; to ground ourselves again.
A grounded individual like that can make a big difference in the real world. That’s why I can keep writing, keep creating. If all I can do is offer a few laughs, then I’ve done something. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that doesn’t matter.