Gaming: a lot more than just ‘fun’

Gaming: a lot more than just ‘fun’
After contracting cancer at just 11 years of age and then leukemia at age 17, resulting in the amputation of his left leg, Angus has been dealt with his fair share of health challenges from quite a young age. Being in and out of hospitals over many years for numerous surgeries, treatments, and recovery, Angus turned to gaming consoles to pass the time and make new friends.

“Gaming helped me a lot mentally, especially as an 11-year-old, because it made me happy doing something I enjoyed and brought so much fun. I could also go online and be completely anonymous. I didn’t have to feel as if I was different because of my illness; I felt just like everyone else,” Angus said. As Angus spent a lot of time in recovery, he used that time playing on his Xbox resulting in making new friends all around the world. “I lost a lot of friends during treatment, so it was really nice to meet so many new people from around the world through online gaming,” Angus shared. Angus met other gamers in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand, and he remains friends with many that he met this way during his recovery.

“Gaming helped me to find new friends and feel happier all the time during my recovery.”

As a car enthusiast, car racing games have always been preferred by Angus, to which he has modified his own racing simulator cockpit, which is setup for his Xbox. “Once I had my amputation, I wanted to get back into racing games, but I had to reconfigure the set-up of the pedals. “So, I moved the accelerator to the left, removed the clutch, and replaced it with pedal shifters on the steering wheel,” said Angus. After the reconfiguration, Angus enthused that he now has “an absolute blast” using the setup to play racing games on his Xbox.

When asked whether he would recommend gaming to other children and young adults who are going through an amputation, Angus spoke passionately about how much he supports the idea. “For kids and young adults that are suffering from an amputation, illness, or cancer, I definitely recommend getting into gaming because not only can you make so many friends online, but it allows you to get away from real life for a bit, forget what you’ve been through, and have so much fun at the same time,” Angus explained. As someone that was bullied in high school due to having cancer, Angus can’t recommend the benefits of online gaming enough. “Online gaming made me feel socially accepted. I didn’t have to feel worried about people judging me all the time,” Angus recalled.

Currently completing a Certificate in Automotive Servicing to pursue his passion for cars, Angus is looking forward to starting a career in the automotive industry. “I’m happy to say that after all I’ve been through, I’m doing really well now. There’s no traces of cancer in my blood, I’m back at the gym, and I want to start my career in the automotive industry,” Angus said.

Limbs 4 Life thanks Angus for sharing his story and we wish him all the best with his career and fitness endeavours. And, like Angus, we hope that gaming can assist others who are experiencing some health issues, periods in hospital or rehabilitation, or just for general fun.