The Legacy of Nosgoth: How a video game helped with my Social Anxiety
This weeks Nosgoth article is taking a slightly different turn. So far we’ve looked at why the game was cancelled and how the community has coped with the loss. This time it’s going to be much more personal as I explain why this game means so much to me.
A little bit of background information first then.
It’s no secret that I have Social Anxiety or Social Phobia as it’s also known. This means I get really anxious is certain social situations such as going outside or talking to people. Unfortunately, this also extended online and as a result I couldn’t play multiplayer games. They were just too much for me to handle.
To help with this, I started making content for YouTube as a “screw you” to the anxiety. I also joined a Social Anxiety group in real life where we would sometimes meet up or go online and play games together. This all happened after I was discharged from the mental health service in my area as they were unable to help me.
Several months before Nosgoth then, I was a nervous wreck, I struggled to do anything as I would have frequent anxiety attacks.
How did I find Nosgoth?
It seems strange that someone with severe Social Anxiety would end up being such a big fan of a multiplayer game. Well, it’s all due to that SA group I was a part of. We were looking for new games to play together and I saw that Nosgoth was entering Open Beta. After seeing the Yogscast play it the year before, I suggested it to the group and we downloaded the game to give it a try.
As we were all new, my anxiety wasn’t as bad and it quickly vanished when I started playing the game. Instead of the anxiety, I actually felt excited for the first time in years. It was like someone flicked a switch on in my brain and suddenly everything felt fine.
Pretty soon a big problem emerged. My SA group didn’t enjoy the game as much as I did and they wanted to play different games. It left me with a problem. Stop playing this amazing new game or fight for it.
It took a while to fight through the anxiety so I could play the game. It took 10 hours in fact of sitting on the home screen with my cursor hovering over the “Play” button or quickly turning the computer off in terror before the match started. It sounds so silly now but that’s how it originally began.
Eventually I got placed into a game which was already in progress. It went alright so I stuck around for the next few games by myself. Those games went alright and slowly the anxiety disappeared and I felt pretty good about myself for
Naturally, this didn’t last forever. As I was a regular player, people began to recognize me and say hello. My reaction: PANIC! Talking to people online was incredibly difficult at that time and it took quite some time to get used to it. It was just as bad when people began to add me as a friend but as I progressed in skill, I slowly became for comfortable with it.
By the time Nosgoth was cancelled, I had formed friendships with a variety of other community members and was a regular in the chat.
How Nosgoth helped me
In the post Nosgoth world, my anxiety is no longer as bad. Multiplayer games are still a struggle but now I that know it’s possible to ‘win’ against the anxiety. Even leaving the house is much easier now. If things become hard I just focus on remembering things from the game as it gives me something else to focus on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not cured. The anxiety is still there and trying to stop me from living my life. It’s just easier to cope now thanks to this one little game which wasn’t even finished. I’m even a writer today because I wanted some extra money to spend in the game. If it wasn’t for Nosgoth, there would be no website here today.
It feels strange that a single video game has had such a positive effect on my life but it’s true. I’m not the only one this game has helped. The Nosgoth community is filled with stories about how the game helped them in some way.
The legacy of Nosgoth is a positive one and while the game may no longer exist, it will live on in the memories of those whose life it touched. Vae Victis!