Thoughtful Thursdays – How Mental Health Impacts My Critique

‘Thoughtful Thursdays’ is a semi-serious, somewhat informal (which is honestly the case for most my ‘content’), look at not only gaming, but general life. This segment will, as the name would imply, pop up every Thursday, although due to its nature, there may be some weeks where I simply haven’t been ‘thoughtful’ enough!

Mental health is something that is absolutely worth discussing at any time of the year, not just during some arbitrary date, or time, based on a condescendingly irrelevant international agreement that a week must be dedicated to it. As a result, I thought for my first ‘Thoughtful Thursday’, I would dedicate it not just to Mental Health, but specifically, delving deep into my own, and how that directly impacts my writing as a whole, but more specifically, on my critique of games. 

Enter The Mind Of A Madman

As you may have gathered from many of my reviews scattered amongst not only my website, but the other websites I review for, I am passionate not only about gaming, but discussing and portraying my views on said games in a way that may seem exaggerated. Rarely do I review anything in a way that can be considered wishy washy, or middling. If you have read some of my more personal articles, you may be aware that I live with bipolar, and one of the more beneficial aspects of my condition (in my opinion at least), is that I view the world in an incredibly ‘black and white’ way. This will manifest in my writing as loving a game, or hating a game. The middle ground exists only on an occasion where my mental health is balanced, which as you may be aware if you know anyone with my condition, is somewhat rare and difficult to detect at the best of times.

One just has to gander at my DOOM review to see the overwhelming praise I will give a game I am passionate about, but another aspect of my ‘gift’(?) is that regardless of what subjective nonsense I spew, everything I say is heavily grounded in the objective. As a man who revels in the factual and analytical, my writing may come across as impassioned, or overly opinionated, but those over-the-top opinions exist through arduous objectivity…or at least I like to believe so. 

I hope this unique view on the world, gaming and my own scattered psyche provides a unique perspective on the games I review. One of things I dislike most about video game journalism is the typically fence-sitting nature of the whole establishment. Games are expensive, not only monetarily, but in terms of time. If I invest time in mediocrity, then I have the opportunity to save potentially a combined lifetime worth of time by expressing myself. Mediocrity is simply not worth the effort when games worth playing exist. To me, mediocrity is a fancy, long winded synonym of bad, and my writing fully embraces that.

What I would like for people who read this to take from this when they go on their merry way, is that mental health, and mental illness, can be harnessed and used in ways that are beneficial. My view on the world is probably not the most productive or universally positive in the grand scheme of life, in fact I can confirm this is the case. However understanding yourself, and your circumstances, you can take those quirks and traits that make you, you, interesting things can happen, and even in the smallest, potentially insignificant ways (in my case, my wee blog is exactly that…) make the world a slightly brighter place. Or some mushy-gushy nonsense like that.

Thanks for reading any who have made it this far. I hope whatever rubbish I have just written makes sense, and was at the very least amusing, if not interesting or enlightening. I would absolutely love to hear your stories about your own mental health, and how you deal or unleash it upon the world like some sort of insanity fuelled super power. 

Thoughtful Thursday will hopefully continue every Thursday, however the nature of the segment requires some thought, and as a questionably cognisant being, this might always be possible. If you have any awesome ideas or topics for discussion, drop me an email (contact info here), or leave a comment. 

Follow me on Twitter @gameswithtoasty, or join the Games With Toasty Facebook page here for exclusive updates on the future of the blog, as well as notifications for when the latest articles drop. Happy gaming.

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