Despite the gaming industry getting a lot of bad rep over making children violent, video games are an excellent resource in helping people. The internet is full of stories of people with disabilities finding themselves in virtual realities to cope with the difficulties of life. A popular story recently resurfaced on Imgur telling the story of one young man who has found his true self in the world of Star Wars Galaxies.
Meet Jason Rowe
Jason is a young man with severe physical disabilities. His disabilities make it impossible for him to walk, forcing him to use a wheelchair, and he has very little use of his hands. He plays video games because it puts him on an equal level as everybody else. He says "The internet eliminates how you look in real life, so you get to know a person by their mind and personality."
Through an online video game called Star Wars Galaxies, Jason was able to interact with people around the world. People he normally would have never met. Jason likes the anonymity video games give him. In the real world, Jason says that people are uncomfortable around him because of his disabilities, but once they get past that, they come to realize he's just like everybody else.
That is what led Jason to creating his online persona:
Rurouni is the character Jason created in 2003 in the game Star Wars Galaxies. On average, Jason spends over 80 hours a week inside the game and has gotten the character to the highest level possible. Rurouni is a human marksman/rifle man with a ranged weapon specialization. By playing as Rurouni, Jason can overcome his disabilities to "ride an Imperial speed bike, fight monsters, or just hang out with friends at a bar." Since Jason doesn't have much use of his hands, he uses what's known as "soft-type", which is a virtual keyboard he uses to talk to other players.
It's truly amazing what a video game can do for a person. Many people find solace in knowing they can be who they really are without fear of people unfairly judging them for their disabilities. Jason proved that disabilities don't define you, and he did so by creating a super cool character in a video game. So despite all the hate video games sometimes get, let's not forget all the good they bring into the world as well.