Ok, so I believe I left off with some discussion about this idea I have. I want to develop a Gamer Wellness Program. When I say that I want to develop it, what I mean is that I have all of the components I need in place, it's just a matter of jumping in and doing it. The issue at hand is some of what I mentioned in the last blog post. How to manage providing these services when funding is very low for mental health professionals. I can provide services to clients who are aligned with the insurance providers that I'm able to carry with my Counseling License, but that really limits the demographics that I can serve. Those clients who don't have the right sort of insurance could pay reduced out of pocket charges for the service, but not everyone is going to be able to provide out of pocket pay as well. I really don't want such a unique type of service to only be limited to those who can afford it. At the same time however, I'm by no means independently wealthy, and so I have to find some sort of a way to do what I know to be useful, while still being able to keep my lights on. So to get to the root of things. . .
I've been working on these ideas for around a decade now. I owe a great deal of thanks to my high school Literature teacher Mr. John Carosella. He taught us that being heroes (as seen through literature) didn't need to be such an uncommon thing. He showed me that stories of heroes were everywhere, regardless of genre. When I wanted to turn in a perspective paper on heroes and reference comic books, he was encouraging of that. I started my research direction, unrefined as it was at that point, from there. If I think further back, however, it was my dad who taught me all about heroes. I can remember sitting with him and watching the original Clash of the Titans, and Jason and the Argonauts and his taking the time to explain how all of these characters connected together. Further, my mom and dad used to help me play video games. One of my fondest memories is my mom helping me get past the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the original Ghostbusters game for the Sega Master System. My uncles would play Atari games with me and help me to learn basic game mechanics. Though my research goes back about ten years, I've been doing this my whole life.
So to take a lifetime of learning the use of these fantastic mediums and reduce the process to only be available to a select group of people, and at that, only as a side activity to an otherwise busy career doesn't seem to make much sense. I've been using my various contacts and supports to develop a funding campaign to help in the implementation of this program. I'm nearly ready to launch. In fact, the campaign will likely begin in a day or two at the very most (so likely Monday 8/12/13, but at the latest Tuesday 8/13/13). I've got high hopes that this will turn out well, and I'm only ironing out a few last minute thoughts. I'll keep posting blogs explaining out my various tier rewards (their origin and meaning), direction of this program, and stories from along the way. I've met a number of supporters over the last year, and I'll need everyone's help no matter how big or small to make this successful. For those who are able to contribute, all my thanks. For those who aren't, I understand, but please pass the page on as much as possible. The more eyes I get on the campaign, the more successful it will be. Thanks to everyone who has been following, I'm really trying to make an impact for the betterment of all of us gamers and geeks. I want to focus on wellness and education, as well as treatment and continued research.
So that's my idea so far. I'll be posting my next blog entry when the campaign goes live. Please check up and keep passing on the information. Take care everyone.