File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

Doctor's orders: Why you should get your game on during Covid-19 era

By Dr S G Henry Time of article published Jun 8, 2020

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My first video game console was purchased in Cape Town, it was a “Golden China”. It was a famiclone of the SNES. I remember countless hours happily playing my 100 in 1 game cartridges. 

Being the youngest of my cousins, I applied myself to gaming. Those of you that were born in the 80’s and reading this, will know the dedication it took to complete the games of old such as Contra or Megaman. These taught me patience, discipline and perseverance. Not the instant-gratification, easy, hand holding games of today. 

Older games teach one to have pattern recognition, good hand and eye co-ordination and discipline. Discipline to consistently improve to become better, to overcome the hurdles thrown at us and never give up. To have self confidence in one’s own abilities and carry that into adult life. 

Over the years, I had the consistent usual nagging of my parents of how “Those games won’t get you anywhere.” But still, I continued to game. I felt it was my escape, much like you reading this, who perhaps read fantasy novels, or build model cars. It is as much a hobby as any other.

A few Sonic The Hedgehog’s, Quake’s, Mortal Kombat’s, Silent Hills and Tomb Raider’s later, I was accepted into medical school. That was about the time that I started online gaming. It seemed to be more than a hobby, it started to become competitive, and social. I started building friendships with people around the world. 

Now that I had a job, and didn’t have to skip lunch, in order to save money to buy games. My gaming accessories, and quality of my purchases increased.

So, all this is great. “But how do you have a job and game at the same time?” I hear you ask. My answer, handheld consoles. I have fond memories of the fun I had in the uncomfortable, musty “on call rooms” when undertaking a 24 hour shift . Playing Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3 portable on the PSP, Pokemon Black on the Nintendo DS, as well as Persona 4 Golden on the PS Vita. These helped me escape the high stress environment that a young doctor Is exposed to on a daily basis. 

Now we are in 2020, gaming has taken off more than it ever has, it has become what we now call “E-Sports”. Pro gamers are worshipped as celebrities on Youtube , Twitch, Mixer, and all streaming platforms. There are still those faint glimmers of old school gaming , in game design today. Notable mention goes to the Dark Souls franchise which I am a huge fan of. I am excited to see what the future of gaming holds.

So I do hope that you, reading this article, have a chance in the near future, to pick up a controller once again, and give it another try. In these uncertain times, it may be just what the doctor ordered. 

* Dr Henry is ranked in the top 1% on the Activision leaderboards.

Check out his latest streams here


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