FIFA 20 – mental health and wellbeing

FIFA19 3 - FIFA 20 - mental health and wellbeing

This is a serious post, and a seriously long post. The leading cause of death in 15-35 year old men is suicide, and 15-35 year old men is pretty much the target demographic of FUT.

I've had a couple of close friends face some really challenging times in the last year, and count myself lucky that they have opened up and talked to myself and others before it's too late. A lot of people aren't that lucky.

So you are probably wondering how this relates to FIFA. I guess I'm sort of asking a favour, of as many people as possible….

FIFA is a game, people play it to relax and unwind, people play it because it's fun, people play it because it's something they are good at when they feel like they are shit at other things in life. We all know how good it can make us feel when things are going our way, when we win a few games, when we pack a great player. For a lot of people, when they've had a bad day they can turn to FIFA and know it's something that can cheer them up or make them feel better.

What I'm trying to illustrate is that the person on the other side of that screen could be going through a really shitty time, that can be someone who just lost a relative, just found out they have cancer, just failed college, just lost their job.

There seems to be an increasing trend, on this forum and in the game itself, to be shitty towards people- to wind people up, to try and sap the joy out of other people's playing experience as much as possible, and to try to make them feel as shitty as possible in the process of playing a video game which should be a positive experience.

I look back at some of my comments on this subreddit and to an extent I'm guilty of that as well – if someone posts showing off their squad I'm the first to tell them that it belongs in the squad thread, or to call them out when they are clearly flexing but trying to disguise it as a question about the game or their squad. I forget that for some people on here, they might not have friends in real life to share this with, and affirmation from strangers on Reddit could actually bring some positivity to their day, it takes less than half a second for me to scroll past if I'm not interested, or drop a positive comment or suggestion about their squad in the thread, so going forward that's what I'll do. To anyone that applies to on here – I'm sorry for being a bit of a dick.


When it comes to the game itself, we know what triggers us, and we know what triggers other people – whether that is watching all the replays and celebrating extensively, using all the pauses at the end of a game, quitting when you're drawing with someone but you know they are going to win, sending shitty messages after a game… There are a lot of shitty things that EA let you do, personally I'm not too bothered by any of these, but the demographic that play FIFA are the most vulnerable from a mental health perspective, and so the most likely to be affected by these negative behaviours.

I get pissed off when I think about someone behaving like that towards someone I care about – my brother in law who's getting bullied, my friend who just lost his brother in a car crash earlier this year. Is there a reason to be toxic and negative towards these people you don't know?

What I'm asking of everyone is just to be a bit kinder.That's it. On here, in the game, in real life. It literally costs you nothing not to be a dick. Instead of sending shitty messages when you lose, try sending positive or encouraging messages when you win, skip your replays and celebrations, don't quit out on someone in a penalty shootout just because you know you're about to lose.

I'd also urge EA to actually consider the mental health of their players in the way they design their game – find me another game where your opponent can force you to watch their celebrations and replays for 3-4 whole minutes of your life each game, or a game where you have to play up to 10hrs per weekend to remain "competitive", the game should promote sportsmanship – give XP or coins for skipping replays etc, the game should promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle – give people bonus xp if they hit 10,000 steps in a day or go to the gym, or do something that gets them away from the screen.

Tl:Dr; the demographic that play FIFA are the most vulnerable from a mental health perspective. You don't know how shitty a day the other person has had, so just be kind to them for fucks sake.

Lastly, I would urge anyone who feels like they are struggling to reach out and talk to someone, a friend, a family member, or if it's easier to talk to a complete stranger – the Samaritans offer a fantastic service in the UK where you can talk in confidence to a complete stranger about anything that's getting you down. They do a fantastic job and have helped somebody very close to me this year, for which I am really thankful.

www.samaritans - FIFA 20 - mental health and wellbeing

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