While many sectors were affected by the pandemic, gaming witnessed an increase.
For many who were isolated during the crisis, online gaming provided a lifeline – including members of the Space Force and Marines, who have pushed gaming to new heights with collaborative tournaments and fundraisers.
Military experience has benefited some veterans-turned-gamers. Top gaming platform Spin Online Casino is one of the leading companies providing plenty of gaming options for all types of gamers. It boasts a wide array of modern games enjoyed world over.
It’s difficult to express how important video games are for veterans. For others, especially those who have fought overseas in war zones, an idle pastime may be lifesaving, grounding, and even therapeutic. It is for me, a Navy veteran who occasionally finds the worlds of Mass Effect and Resident Evil 4 more relatable than this one, and I’m not alone. Video games are being used by my fellow warriors and medical professionals to treat PTSD, depression, and other issues, and it’s working.
Of course, the Covid-19 plague isn’t helping matters by exacerbating our sense of isolation. My mother phoned me on a particularly bad day, when I was dealing with Covid-19 and depression. Mom adds over the phone, “I wish I could be there and make you soup.” My heart breaks for her mothering. I choke out a chuckle and add, “Then you’d catch the virus.” I’m thinking in paradoxes; I haven’t died, but I wish I do whenever the few hours of sleep I receive are interrupted by heart palpitations, a shivering fever, and traumatic recollections.
According to the RAND Corporation, 18.5 percent of military men returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan pass depression or post-traumatic stress disorder criteria (PTSD). Before the coronavirus pandemic, veterans were 1.5 times more likely than the general population to commit suicide. Similarly, many vets have been unable to obtain life-saving drugs, including mental health therapies, over the mail. To make matters worse, 80 percent of vets receive their medicines in this manner.
After I left the service, the nightmares and guilt would catch up with me. I try not to think about how many people perished as a result of our inaction. There are still some aspects of my military service that I will not discuss. Now that I’m 34, I wish I’d returned to gaming in my twenties.
Another veteran, like the majority of individuals who grew up during Nintendo’s domination of the console industry, understands the unique type of enchantment that comes with gaming. Noel Nero Gregorio, 42, was no exception. He knew all there was to know about Mario, Metroid, and Castlevania, and he played them all obsessively.
“The time I spent in the Air Force gave me a lot of discipline that I didn’t have before,” D’Juan “Deejay Knight” said Irvin, an Air Force veteran-turned full-time streamer.
When Irvin decided it was time to make a change, he was a senior airman with the security forces. He is currently a Shorty Award nominee and the creator of GAMINGtruth, a gaming news website. Speaking to veterans, Irvin says, “if streaming is something you are considering, start while you are in the military.”
Knight emphasized the significance of community to any veterans contemplating full-time streaming. According to a 2018 research, video games assist soldiers with mental health issues such as PTSD by allowing them to interact with people and form meaningful connections and even careers.
According to StreamerFacts, top-tier streamers may earn anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 each month.
“To try and do this full time without a community is impossible. You need a community that follows you.” He said.
Michael Hervieux, another veteran, is making tremendous progress in the esports world. He is presently the head coach for Valorant at the Esports Tower and a prominent role in broadcasting after serving in the US Army as a specialist.
“I love it”, Hervieux said. “Every day I show up with a smile on my face. It’s the coolest the job I’ve had outside the Army.”
Hervieux was able to pursue his interest for gaming because of Full Sail University’s framework and veterans program.
“While I was at Full Sail all the veterans there helped me a lot. Talking with them and seeing that they had similar experiences brought me back to that brothership I had while I was in the Army which helped me get back into video games.”
After leaving the military, Hervieux has continued to serve his community by training prospective players and assisting them in obtaining scholarships and even spots on top-tier esports teams.
Hervieux had some of the same challenges that other veterans face after leaving the military. His advise to fellow veterans is to seek out assistance and seize chances when they arise.
“First of all — you are not in it alone”, Hervieux said. “I thought I was in it alone and it hurt me. Just remember we all hit that dark spot. I hit it. I struggled with it. The best thing I did was reach out. There is someone out there who can get help you get to a better place.”
Irvin and Hervieux both see gaming and esports as having a bright future.
“The streaming world is going to grow- there is no question about that. There is so much possibility for joy and entertainment,” Irvin said.
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