For those who do not know, The Dallas Mavericks have a gaming team, and at the end of May, they joined with the Wounded Warrior Project to talk about how gaming has helped veterans with their PTSD. It started with a Zoom call where players from Mavs Gaming asked the veterans some questions about how gaming has helped them overcome some of the issues with PTSD and mental health.
After the call, players from Mavs Gaming and WWP joined in some Call of Duty Cold War.
Mavs Gaming and WWP honored mental health month by talking about PTSD and how gaming has helped those who served.
During the video call, Mavs Gaming Coach, Latoijuin Fairley asked the first question about how gaming has helped veterans connect. Veteran Jody Farmer was one of the first to respond, and with a hint of emotion in her voice, she started to tell her story.
Farmer was not a gamer a year ago and in her own words she was, “lost.” WWP had started a gaming initiative at the start of COVID-19 and Farmer picked up the controller to not only connect with others but hoping it would bring her close to her husband and kids.
It would seem the story would stop there, however, Farmer kept playing and kept getting better. By the time the fall had rolled around, she was a regular on the Monday Night Mayhem Call of Duty nights where she could connect with other veterans. She was attending Oklahoma University and would become their Esports Coach. She states that gaming had saved her life and she would not have a direction had it not been for gaming.
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This story was followed up by Gabriel and Tasha from WWP who each had their own story to tell. Tasha had struggled over the last year and she says that gaming had helped her find a family. Those veterans she connected to became her lifeline during her dark times. Gabriel, a physically disabled soldier as well as having PTSD, said gaming helps him stay connected and that the friends he has made give him an outlet daily. Due to his physical disabilities being able to game has kept his competitive fire burning.
This was a connection to the professional gamers as one of the questions asked of them was what got them into gaming. Ziah, a Mavs Gaming teammate, said gaming was all about being competitive and trying to be the best. She goes on to talk about building communication and enjoying the team aspect. This struck a chord with the veterans as teamwork and competitiveness were something they understood as well.
The other gamers and veterans shared their life stories and their personal reasons to get into gaming and how it has helped them over the years. The stories shared by both sides helped forge a connection as everyone joined a private game of Call of Duty Cold War. The first game up was a fun, party-style game, called Prop Hunt. In Prop Hunt one team is disguised as objects and tries to hide from the other team who is hunting them down. The laughs and discussion were just the start of some lasting friendships.
Mavs Gaming and WWP were able to highlight mental health in a new and unique way. Through gaming, connections were built as was the understanding of mental health and how video games can help overcome some of the issues people have.
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This was just the start, but Mavs Gaming and WWP plan to have some NBA2K leagues upcoming, and hopefully, it will connect people by making the world a little smaller.
- Published on 06/22/2021 at 13:21 PM
- Last updated at 06/22/2021 at 13:21 PM