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17th August 2011

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How Harvest Moon saved my stomach lining

I’ve always had anxiety - and resultant stomach problems - but it manifested first when I was a kid; I don’t remember what age, just that it was a young one. A girl in my circumstance really didn’t have anything legitimate to be anxious about, but anxiety is inherently illogical, and, apparently, doesn’t always discriminate as far as age is concerned.

My anxiety was set off by a variety of absurd childhood concerns, not all of which I remember. The one persistent instigator, however, was a fear of nausea and throwing up after eating. It got to the point where I wouldn’t eat, because every time I took a bite of food I was convinced that I would vomit, which was, for some reason, a terrifying prospect for me. The knowledge that some girls would intentionally instigate it was totally bananas to me.

I know now that what I perceived to be nausea was actually anxiety-induced stomach pains cooking up a nice environment for an ulcer, but the classification didn’t really matter; it was debilitating and life-halting. The only thing that would help me, that would take my mind off of it, was playing Harvest Moon 64. 

Whenever I would feel that pain coming on, I would immediately run into Anthony’s room where we kept the N64 and play Harvest Moon. Maybe the repetitiveness of the gameplay was calming, maybe its very light-hearted nature helped - I’m not quite sure. All I know is that it was seemingly the only thing that helped soothe me, and I like to imagine that, without it, my stomach would have suffered much more than it did. This is the reason that, no matter how many new iterations of HM come out, and no matter how redundant or bad they might empirically be, you will never hear me speak a poor word about the franchise. 

I’m heading back to Phoenix soon to gather stuff for my permanent move to Los Angeles, and the thing I’m most excited about is retrieving my N64 and copy of Harvest Moon so that I can take it with me. Some people have security blankets - I have a farming simulator. 

How has a gaming experience helped you get through a difficult time? I encourage you to post about it on your own tumblr, and then comment on this post with a link to it. I would love to read your experiences. 

  1. mesna reblogged this from bampowsmash
  2. tomeleche reblogged this from bampowsmash
  3. lunarbreakdance reblogged this from bampowsmash and added:
    My story is basically the same as this. I find Harvest Moon 64 (why just that platform, I don’t know) the most soothing...
  4. computergamesandbeer reblogged this from bampowsmash
  5. dirt-dynasty reblogged this from bampowsmash and added:
    My story isn’t as dramatic or meaningful, but Left 4 Dead helped save myself from the depression of living alone. I’m a...
  6. rygadune reblogged this from bampowsmash
  7. sommenrider reblogged this from bampowsmash
  8. stealthyglances reblogged this from bampowsmash
  9. incindio-teh reblogged this from bampowsmash
  10. shallowproblems reblogged this from bampowsmash and added:
    Mine wasn’t life threatening but here is my example...
  11. meltingswatches reblogged this from bampowsmash and added:
    Acid eating away at your insides is a terrible neighbor of mine. If only he would shut the fuck up when I played, I...
  12. zjetro said: Yo, Ash! Thanks for the inspiration.…
  13. sonic9jct reblogged this from bampowsmash and added:
    I will do one of these soon, once I get the chance. Probably tomorrow night once I’m all moved in. Great read, though.
  14. catgirlellie said: Here is my response-post: optimisticcynic.tumblr….