In response to "Getting Back in the Game" from The Escapist Forum: Absolutely. From a psychological perspective this whole article makes fantastic sense.
One of the things he does in the article is mention his achievements: "I liberated a significant portion of the city from the gangs that occupied it...." People who are suffering after the end of a relationship can, consciously or not, feel that time they've poured into a relationship has been wasted. They can feel reset, similar to, though much stronger than, having a character in an MMO wiped out. Most video games are designed to give a very strong feeling of achievement, so he can rebuild that feeling of being accomplished.
Additionally, he was dealing with some loss of identity. Pointing out that he began "doing things I'd always wanted to do, but could never have done as part of a couple" shows that he was redefining himself as a person. But mentioning that he "...stopped to heal wounded civilians, even when [he] had somewhere [he] really needed to be," shows that he was at least loosely aware of using games to perform a similar redefinition, or a least a clarification.
This memoir would make an even more interesting article if it were cowritten with a psychologist.
I think this is the first thing I've read that has truly convinced me that the much-talked-about idea of "escapism" is a good thing. Simple but clear, Logan. Thank you.
My experience with games as a distraction has been more negative. I know I'm in the dumps when I start looking to video games to fritter away my free time. I enjoy 'em well enough, but they feel empty, too. Games make it easier to put myself in a holding pattern; they give me an easy sink for all my restless energy, but then that energy isn't going towards actually changing my situation. I'd rather not do that, although sometimes it's hard to make the choice.
In response to "In Memoriam" from The Escapist Forum: I whole-heartedly concur with this article. I took a history of gaming class, and many of these names stand out...breaks my heart to think that the majority of the gaming world has not even heard of the games they made, let alone who they were.
When Shigeru Miyamoto passes (which will never happen, as I'm sure he's got a fairy or two kicking around), the gaming nation shall hold a moment of silence. Even rabid FPS gamers online will temporarily cease their fragging and ethnic slurrs in honour of, quite frankly, one of the gods of gaming. And that's nothing compared to how badly the Jedi will feel it.
I personally will also mourn the loss of Nolan Bushnell (God forbid). While the founder of Atari may not be a household name, he has left a legacy. Not only has he shown me all new underhanded ways to develop and create (he is a sneaky bugger and I love him for that), but he also helped take gaming and make it mainstream. Without Bushnell, video games would have been the fleeting passtimes of Ivey League computer students. With Bushnell, video games were initially so successful that the first Asteroids machines needed to have expanded coin buckets. When he passes, I suggest we all go out and enjoy a slice of pizza at Chuck E. Cheese (another of his creations).
I really appreciate this article, and yes, "media" coverage of prominent developers is sparse indeed, but I am hopeful. Wikipedia remains unmentioned in this article, and yet, it's become a primary source of information on the game industry titans and the niche-diggers of yore. If you know of a developer, living or dead, who should be mentioned, make a Wiki entry for them. Even if it's just 3 lines. It's the first and hardest step; once the page is up, it will grow.