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Redshirt Roundtable: Military Appreciation Month



May for Stack Up is one of our busiest times of the year as we roll into Call to Arms for Memorial Day. With May being Mental Health Awareness and Military Appreciation Month, much of our focus is on messaging surrounding that. Our Redshirt Roundtable for May is all about how video games help us with our mental health, along with a little something different this year; the option to recognize a Military member they know, including themselves.


In this Redshirt Roundtable, we asked the following questions:

  • What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

  • Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

  • Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

  • Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

  • Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?


SuperWolfLeo | Youtube


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Valheim


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

It can give you outreach to play with friends, or it can give you a creative outlet in building-style games.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

The joy of playing with friends and the challenge of completing objectives!


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Army Veteran


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

Paul Lee Roy Holder, grandfather, naval submarine pilot



Travis McKeever


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

World Of Warcraft


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

It gives you a place to go and think about nothing other than the fun you are having and even a chance to connect with others in that space that don't know anything about you IRL, and you can build friendships and let people get to know the "real you" without fear of any judgments.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

You can build friendships and let people get to know the "real you" without fear of any judgments.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

I am Active Duty Army


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

Tobias Hughlett, Jeremy LaLonde, Kieth Johnson, Michael Sparks, All Army, we were all stationed at Bragg together.



Roughrider


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

AVICII Invector. (I think I talk a lot about that one in these questionnaires.) It's just right for cutting into a bad brain rut. Also, World of Warcraft because it gave me a level of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment that I simply couldn't get in my toxic work environment.


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

It offers a range of challenging but achievable tasks, things that are clear-cut with a recognizable end and a purpose that you can take on by yourself or with teammates, in a way that is simply hard to find in real life. Most jobs don't fit that description. Most friendships and romantic partnerships face challenges that put strain on the relationship rather than the kinds of challenges that are naturally bonding. It also exercises our emotional scopes beyond what we encounter or are able to access in our regular lives. And it's sensory enough to play an active role in emotional and mental regulation.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

There's nothing like working on something together to build mutual goodwill and affection. That can be even if the game is single-player, but you both played through the same difficult part. And it exists even with different games, to a lesser extent, since we can identify with each others' travails.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Veteran-USAF


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

My husband, Chris Osiecki (Veteran, USAF), for facing down every boss with me.



eSkilliam


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

World of Warcraft has gotten me through several spots just being able to zone out and grind levels. Fortnite game night on the StackUp discord got me out of a funk the other night too!


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

It is an escape. It's sort of like a vacation but easier to pull off.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

Being able to discuss our favorite parts of solo games with others and for multiplayer, just knowing that you aren't alone. Someone else is dedicating their time to doing something with you. It gives you value.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Veteran, U.S. Navy Electronics Technician


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

Retired Navy Chief Tim Ramey. He taught me so much about life and doing things the right way, not the easy way. He had a personality of sandpaper and iron guarding a heart of gold. I can still hear him telling us the 7 P's right now...


Payperheirplain


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Dungeons and Dragons Adventure League


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

I think it helps give you something to focus on other than your thoughts. It's also good to have something that makes you think critically and give you a sense of accomplishment. A lot of times, at least for me, depression comes in times where I don't have a lot going on in my life. Periods between semesters in college where I was unemployed, or periods of unemployment in general, left me with a lot of free time to be alone with my thoughts so video games or games, in general, gave me something to fill that time with to help keep my mind focused and sharp.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

Even if you are playing a solo game, you can always talk to other people about the game. For instance, in Stack Up PC chat, one of our members recently got me into Subnautica, and my talking about it, and posting images got them to reinstall it. Now we occasionally talk about the game together and our discoveries. We're playing alone but enjoying the game together. If it's a multiplayer game, it's a bit more straightforward since you get into playing together with other people, and sometimes that can lead to friendships outside of the game you're playing if you met while playing it.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

USAF, Veteran


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

For the sake of anonymity, I'd rather not name them, but my father was a Master Sergeant/First Sergeant in the US Army for 20 years who is now retiring from his second 20-year stint with the US Army as a civilian.


Nephimel | Twitch


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Final Fantasy XV


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

It helps you to not feel so alone, whether it's surrounding yourself with a great group of NPCs or meeting people with similar interests online.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

It's hard to know what to talk about with a new person. When you have a game to play together, that common ground is already there. It makes it easier for those with social anxieties to find something to connect with right away.


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

I'd like to recognize a good online friend of mine, but I don't actually know his real name. He's a Navy vet, and his Twitch is Snow_Senkensha and Twitter is SenkenshaGames, if that helps. He's become a vTuber now, so I don't have any photos of him.



Steve - QuantumCorgis | Twitch


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

World of Warships and Escape From Tarkov


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

It lets me relax and take a step back to get my mind off things.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

You never know who you're going to meet and friendships you're going to develop.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

US Navy - Veteran


DaCrabsMTG | Twitch


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Magic The Gathering


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

Keeps your mind active. The social aspect of gaming helps a lot as well.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

Sharing a similar interest!


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Yes. Navy Veteran.


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

My uncle David. Army Korean War Veteran.



iraqvet0304 | Twitch


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Mega Man 4


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Army Veteran



Muscled_Karma | Twitch


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Horizon Zero Dawn


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

Gives a mental distraction, something else to focus on, and potentially something to be successful at


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

It's like a language basically that you can speak with other people. Characters, side quests, boss fights, and challenges that give an instant common ground. An overall shared experience


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

USAF Veteran



Mike/IB8100


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Fallout series


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

Could be


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

I play by myself. It helps escape real life in a world I can control and manipulate. Gives me a sense of having control of life


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Veteran


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

It doesn't seem fair just to recognize one. All of them deserve appreciation and recognition.



Jason Smith


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

PUBG


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

I have been dealing with PTSD for many years and did not know I was self-caring till I saw a mental health provider. It helps distract me from the memories.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

I have a small group of friends online that keep me connected and keep tabs on me. It is great to know they are there whenever.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Retired and Air Force active duty.


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

Muhammadun Abdullah, Army and he is a good friend.


Josh / NineTaleFox | Twitch | Tiktok | Youtube


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Less a single game but video games in general, MMOs specifically. I like the freedom of being able to do my own thing as well as work with friends, both new and old. I have people I can talk to, or I just get my mind off everything altogether.


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

Other than being able to find like-minded people, those who like the game and those who have similar experiences to theirs, it allows people to socialize for as long as they are comfortable and leave without any questions asked. Sometimes it helps them vent. Sometimes it's just something so different they can forget about the bad thoughts.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

I play a lot of MMOs, even on those days I just want to quest alone knowing that I can help someone if they need it or even just sit in discord and chat while I do my thing is very relaxing. There are times I didn't want to socialize initially, but online friends encourage me to come hang out, and it really turns the day around.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

Army national guard, OEF Veteran, separated in 2021.



XpertWan


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

The División 2


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

Gaming helps me relieve stress and clears my mind.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

Meeting others with similar likes.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

I'm a Navy Veteran.


GamerKat6823


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Dungeons & Dragons, with my friends


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

It lets you "playtest" scenarios and situations, as well as get a little escape from issues for a bit. You can relax and deal with someone else's problems - your character's!


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

Doing something you enjoy with a group is always a good time.


Jesse (DullJoker) | Twitch


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

The Watch Dogs games sort of helped me through some tough times. Played them to put my mind on fun stuff instead of other things.


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

Exactly the same way as how it helped me through tough times. By making you focus on something enjoyable instead of something else.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

Teamwork in certain games make you connect easier with others in multiplayer games. Because it makes you have something in common with your teammates. Wanting to win, for instance.


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

I have a lot of respect for LunaticSheep in our discord. From what I've heard about his experience in the military, it really gives off good vibes how he dealt/deals with it. He was also one of the first people who welcomed me into the discord back in March 2021.



DarthSagaSwag


What is a video or tabletop game that helped you through a difficult time?

Fallout New Vegas. When I was just starting out in the Navy, many things were happening that made me very frustrated. I needed to get rid of a lot of stress. I bought a new Xbox 360 console to play Fallout New Vegas. It was like shooting my frustrations away.


Why do you think gaming helps with mental health and well-being?

I'm not sure about other people, but for me, video games allow me a level of control that we don't often experience in real life. I'm not a control freak, but I do get frustrated with just how much in life is not within my scope of control. While games have their own rules, much of what I do, how I succeed, and whether or not I fail is entirely up to how I play. Once I get deep into a game, the rest of the world falls away, and I can just focus on having fun.


Whether you game solo or with others, in your opinion, what about gaming helps in connecting with other people?

Gaming gives me plenty to take about with other gamers. I'm a high variety player, so I can connect to all kinds of gamers about all kinds of different games. It's fun to check out a newer game or go back and replay an old one, then connect with other people over a similar love of gaming.


Are you a Veteran or Active Duty service member? If yes, what was your branch and current status?

I'm a Navy Veteran.


Is there a Veteran/Active Duty service member you would like to recognize for Military Appreciation Month?

I have too many I would like to recognize. One of my best friends is a chief in the Navy, and we've been friends for ten years. The people I served with were often the best part of my service. They were all good people. My great grandfather was an Air Force Veteran. He died some time back. My grandfather was an Army Veteran who died when I was young. If I had pictures, I would show them.





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