Gaming Is…

I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone this. I’m not scared of what they will think or perhaps even do, I just like to keep it to myself. Being an only child, I deal with things on my own, in my own way (I probably shouldn’t) and gaming is one of the best resources I have. It is much more than just entertainment.

My life has been full of those moments which change the way you look at things. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at a young age and instantly I was given a list of don’ts and cant’s. No child wants to have their dreams crushed so quickly but mine were.

You see, I have always wanted to be a soldier of some kind. Militaria has been a big part of my life thanks to my dad and our ongoing collection of World War II memorabilia, it is a great passion of mine. Unfortunately, Crohn’s disease prevents anyone from enlisting in any of our great forces.

Every careers evening I attend or enlisting station I see, I ask if the rules have been changed. I never walk away smiling. My mum knows of my dreams, I think (I’m not very open), so convincing her to let me would be a battle in itself but, had things been different, I’m sure she would’ve let me.

I know there are plenty of other options offering the same thrills and experience of the army closer to home. These ideas are always simmering at the back of my mind but it wouldn’t be the same.

Enter, games. I’m probably part of a small minority but they are much more than just entertainment. Feel free to tell me I’m looking too much into it all, I won’t listen though. Ask anyone on my friends list, I play First Person Shooters a lot! Hours have been poured into Call of Duty, Medal of Honour and the like. I’ve bought all the classics and as many of the Collector’s Editions I can find.

Each of the more recent titles, I have completed three or four times on both consoles and no matter how extravagant the story may seem, I love them. They fill a void in my mind. There’s no can’ts or don’ts. I can live my dream for those seven or eight hours and No-one asks me for any medical conditions I may have.

Games are a way for me to escape my current situation. My life is in not awful by any standards. I’m happy. But every day, I wish things were different. When I fight side-by-side with Captain Price et al things are different. I become immersed and I love it. I’m ecstatic.


  1. That is very moving mate. I think there is an element in all of us that enjoys gaming on a level beyond just entertainment but, obviously, for you it is more significant.
    This is the reason I love GT over Forza. For me that is not really about playing a game, it’s living out a fantasy of driving supercars and racing on a knife edge in a way I’ll never be able to do in real life. The more realistic and less game-like the experience, the better.

    • Agreed, a great and rather moving article.

      Here’s hoping you can be like Mike off Spaced, join the TA, go nuts, steal a tank and try to invade Paris, eventually being caught when you detour to go on Space Mountain :P

      Have you tried the Operation Flashpoint or ARMA games? They’re both not too far off being war simulators, or at the very least much less arcade-y that CoD and its ilk, with 1 hit deaths, accurate bullet drop etc. etc.

    • Exactly the same for me 3shirts. I like racing games for those reasons and the more realistic the better is definitely the way I prefer my racing. Not to say you cant have fun with an arcade racer but it lacks the achievement of getting it right in a proper sim.

      I also felt it was a very good and moving article.

      • A great article and I also pour hours into Shooters, especially Call of Duty, whether that be 3 or MW2.

  2. My mum has chron’s. Games mean different things to different people, I appreciate realism, but only just as much as I appreciate escaping into a world that is totally made up.

    • damn..I always spell that wrong, crohn’s sorry.

  3. While i sympathise with anyone who suffers from something like crohns which prevents them from fulfilling their dreams, i don’t like killing people in real life ;)

    • Stop doing it then

      • Lol,i really must stop posting at work, i never have enough time. I meant to write something amusing but i think it could have turned out a bit crass.
        I too enjoy the empowerment provided by games, golf for instance – i’m useless at it in real life but thanks to games i’m now only partly useless at it! And i would never drive in real life like i do in racing games, especially rally games.
        And while hurtling down a track in Dirt2 my phone rings so i press Start to pause the game – even more empowerment! :)

  4. I’m pretty sure the taliban don’t screen for crohns disease. :D

    only joking. nice article mate. :D

  5. I have Crohn’s too, games has helped me a lot and always will. But not as much as my toilet unfortunately.

    • You, good sir, need a gamer’s commode! :-)

  6. I thought I knew you…

  7. Nice article, it highlights an aspect of games that is usually only referred to in a negative way. I always considered them to be an entertainment medium but they do allow a level of immersion beyond movies and books that allows people access to worlds they could not usually experience. Usually this is glamorized as violent offenders training themselves for real-world atrocities, it is a shame the media never focuses on the very positive aspects of this immersion.

  8. I was recently diagnosed with colitis, luckily it was caught early and is milder than most with Crohn’s, I’ve yet to be restricted because of it and can’t imagine what it’d be like to be told you can’t achieve your dream because of something outside of your control.

    Very moving piece, that makes me thankful for having the condition in a mild form, you’ve spurred me on to take my medication seriously, random sentiment I know but I’ve been avoiding it of late.

  9. if only there was a article of the year on TSA . that was brilliant.

  10. Bravo, Murdo. You’ve got a lot of heart to be able to talk about it openly like that. Inspiring.

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