Escape to a Better Place,
I see myself as a sort of rounded person now, but when I was a kid, I was far from the happy, jovial man behind the keyboard today. As a kid, I was dorky, overweight, had no confidence in myself or my abilities, and felt isolated by many of those around me. It was hard to escape that world, and I had only one true outlet to do so, and that was gaming. I was also luckier than most to have supportive parents who understood that outlet and let me be when I needed to let go for a bit, despite pushing me hard to achieve anything. I am forever grateful for that.
But I bring this up because of a small movie short that has surfaced on the internet, titled Escape. This 2012 short film was a winner at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas, written and directed by Kennedy J. Baruch. Baruch knows what that feeling of escape really is, as his short explores how it can be the only outlet to survive a somewhat harsh existence for young children, as follow a day in the life of Danni, a young girl who seems isolated by her peers and often ignored by her parents, her only escape being The Legend of Zelda.
I will admit it, I was tearful at the end of Escape. It is easy to sympathize with her because I was Danni at a point, I was very isolated and I yearned for that escape in the end. It is both somewhat sad yet hopeful, as Danni struggles are never going to end any time soon, but she at least can find solace in something when times are rough.
But it does show the power that games can have with people. It can be fun, a job, or their escape from real life. And that alone shows how gaming as a medium is a good thing. It shows that it can be a way to cope with life as you struggle through issues, and make yourself a better person if you let it happen.