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Gamers Are Pwning PTSD

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posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:24 AM
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Gamers Are Pwning PTSD

I'm thinking this would fall under social issues due to the fact that PTSD is an after effect of seeing combat.
When the soldier leaves the military, who does he have to turn to to talk about things he has seen? Things he has done?
Most times, the soldier doesnt feel comfortable talking to his spouse or family, unless said family member has served in the military. They usually turn to other veterans.
One way is thru gaming groups, guilds or communities.
The article I referenced above discusses these issues, and also how gaming is being used to help former soldiers cope with PTSD and possible ways to treat that soldier.




Wired.com posted a story (www.wired.com... ) not too long ago about the Pentagon paying out nearly half a million dollars to small companies hired build a new type of video game.

These programs are designed to help identify servicemen suffering from mental issues by tracking their scores while playing simple games.

The idea stems from the realization that there’ll be a dramatic drop in scores if a Soldier experiences a traumatic event that they have trouble separating themselves from. So the plan is to possibly equip servicemen with these games as they deploy and then monitor the scores over time.

After being involved with an ambush or an IED, if the scores stay down, then that could be an indicator that the serviceman may need some additional help dealing with the situation.





Another interesting way games are being used to help servicemen comes from a project being developed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

According to the Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com... ), the new concept is designed to help servicemen and their families learn to reintegrate in an anonymous setting and uses, appropriately enough, Second Life as the platform for the project.


I've seen this, as I am a member of Second Life, and part of a HUGE veterans community there. They have lands set aside for vets and active duty soldiers to come and talk privately and anonymously.

That is the wonderful thing about gaming communities. total anonymity, if you so choose.




When you step off the plane and onto your native soil, there’s this odd sense of detachment that sets in. It’s a hard thing to describe, and mostly because of the bizarre mix of strong and conflicting emotions, all bundled by a Soldier who’s spend the last year or more pretending emotions don’t exist.





As much as we might wish otherwise though, games can’t fix everything.

Sometimes the damage is just too great and you need help. Never for a moment believe you have no one to help, or have to do it on your own.
Look around a little harder, and I think you’ll find you have an army of brothers and sisters around you just waiting to offer a hand when it’s needed.


This is what I found with my online gaming community, Military Gamers.
I found when I got out, it was hard to readjust, and be a civilian once again. Most of you that have served understand 100% what I am saying. I'm sorry, I just cant describe it for those that havent. I found people that UNDERSTAND the things I went thru while in uniform, how to deal with the stress of adjustment. I've been out almost 17 years, and I still almost nightly dream I'm still in. Its sometimes a hard thing to deal with, when you lived that lifestyle for a good part of your life.

Military Gamers and the Second Life veteran community has helped me by giving me a community I can talk to, that understands, and not just in a private forum, but in a virtual environment.
I've done a video on YouTube about my experiences with the veteran gaming community, and how its helped me, and how I feel like I'm 'back home'



If you are a veteran, and want to find someone you can relate to, and youre an a gamer, check us out, Military Gamers








edit on 12/6/2013 by HomerinNC because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:50 AM
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These programs are designed to help identify servicemen suffering from mental issues by tracking their scores while playing simple games.

The idea stems from the realization that there’ll be a dramatic drop in scores if a Soldier experiences a traumatic event that they have trouble separating themselves from. So the plan is to possibly equip servicemen with these games as they deploy and then monitor the scores over time.


The absurdist in me is concerned with the above.

So we deploy military with video games, have them play over time to keep tabs on their mental state. The future of war is drones, robots and exoskeletons….

Middle East War 2020 =

-Soldiers enter base camp, play video games.
-Begins duty, drops bombs via drones
-Returns to camp, plays game, "Hey Saarg, am I playing the fun game or the drop a bomb on camel game?"

"Camel game"

"Oops, totally nuked Israel for the lulz"


Okay, so I know it's not reality, and this is a touchy subject. No disrespect. If something like this helps soldiers cope, that's great. Just pointing out the caricature version for the rest of us.
edit on 6-12-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:51 AM
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reply to post by HomerinNC
 

It's good to see an article on the positive effects of gaming rather then all the negatives that keep getting dragged up.

It makes real sense too, recreating a similar environment without the danger, not to mention being surrounded by people who've shared the same experiences who can help you on and off the virtual battlefield.

Out of curiosity, what do vets play? I can't imagine them getting into sledging matches with 12 year olds while playing Call of Duty, not to mention the obvious inaccuracies. Sims like ARMA, operation flashpoint, etc I can understand, is it realism or the experience that helps with the mending?



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:03 AM
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reply to post by Thecakeisalie
 


The vets I play with play things like Arma, Planetside 2, Everquest, Eve, BF4, WoW, etc.
I'm associated with our Star Wars The Old Republic branch. We have troops that even play minecraft.

Its the connection that helps alot. The ability to talk to another veteran about things they can only understand. I've been up many a night on TeamSpeak talking with fellow veterans that would be on crying about something theyve seen in while in the suck.
edit on 12/6/2013 by HomerinNC because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 03:04 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I understand Boncho, and no offense taken.
Like I said before, its hard to relate soldier/veteran to civilian.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:52 AM
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Good to see them come up with something better than drugs to treat p.t.s.d .. lived with it for years after 4 tours in vietnam with s.o.g ..

Only taken up games past year after retiring .. currently playing galaxy on fire 2 on my tab 3 .

Some things change .. some never change .. veterans still face many of the same problems that did back when I got out..

S&F good thread and better option than drugs for p.t.s.d .. ( deal with mine without drugs .. )



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by HomerinNC
 


Just to chime in on this. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD almost two decades ago due to an unfortunate variety of assaults/events. I had major problems with flashbacks, crippling agoraphobia, and was so hypervigilant that most nights, I couldn't sleep. I was always a gamer but it wasn't until a few years later that I started gaming in earnest. I found that playing a video game actually gave me relief. It was literally the one time where I wasn't focused on every minute thing around me, waiting for something to jump out at me and say "ooga booga!". For me, it became something like venting but without words and way better than any tranquilizer--plus no harm to the liver or other organs to boot.

I think they are right. Thinking about it, I find that there very well could be some sort of neurofeedback going on with it, too. Basically training the brain to chill. If I'm panicking and feeling too much in a game, my gameplay turns to crap. If I'm calm and relaxed, I do great. In a way, I've been conditioning myself to just relax and let it go because i can immediately perceive a difference in functionality. I get rewarded when I'm relaxed and calm and when I'm not, the difference is stark and immediately spotted.

I've not had a flashback in 15 years. I went from staying awake for a few days at a time to having troubles sleeping only now and then. The number of pure hypervigilant states I've been in usually are maybe 5 times a year. Most of the time, I'm pretty relaxed. All on no meds for PTSD though I apparently self-medicate with nicotine a bit. I think that the benefits in fighting PTSD are applicable to any with PTSD, regardless of how it was stimulated.

I'm glad that videogames are looking like they are helping you and other soldiers, too, Homer. Although I am a civilian, I grew up in a military family so I've seen firsthand how difficult it can be to reintegrate back in. War leaves tremendous scars. You have my heart and I hope that you all someday find some peace.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by HomerinNC
 


I know a guy who is former military. I have never served myself so I can't fully understand the horrors he has witnessed but I think he takes comfort in talking to me about it due to my knowledge of military grade weapons thanks to war games. He talks about the weapons he used and I am familiar with them. I know it doesn't ease the PTSD much but at least having someone who actually understands the jargon certainly doesn't do any harm.



posted on Dec, 7 2013 @ 05:41 AM
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Its wonderful, I can go on anytime of the day or night, someone's in Teamspeak, can jump in a game an just talk, at the same time, listen to someone else talk
I think things like this are MUCH BETTER then a frakkin shrink



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