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Posted on Monday, June 2 2014 @ 13:05:57 Eastern

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A few weeks ago I had finally finished Dark Souls II for PC. Since finishing that game, I haven't really been playing anything else. I should be, considering I have a few unfinished titles for my 3DD but I prefer to save them for times when I am traveling and on the go. I picked up Watch Dogs last week for my PS4 and despite the mixed views it's receiving, I like it, but I have a sneaky suspicion that Watch Dogs may go on hold for a while in favor of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U and now The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the HD edition.

I love Mario Kart 8, it's an incredible game and I've praised it enough on here at the GameRevolution forums so I won't go into much detail. What I had completely forgotten about though and was reminded thanks to an article here at GR, is that for a limited time, if you register your copy of Mario Kart 8 to Club Nintendo online, you can download one Wii U game for free from a list of ten. I chose The Legend of Zelda.

I first played The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker back on the GameCube in 2003. That's eleven years ago. I was fifteen years old at the time and it was one of the hardest times in my teenage life. Now, I mean no disrespect to anyone but I'm sure there are people out there who can relate to what I am about to discuss.

When I was a teenager I didn't have a very good time. I didn't have many friends at school and those who were apparently my friends were not so much when behind my back. I was bullied, a lot, for about five years. Most of the time the bullying was verbal but there were times when these encounters became physical and violent. I hated going to school and quite often I would pretend to be sick so I could stay home and not go to school to face those bullies. I felt so bad and ashamed about myself that there were times when I honestly wanted to, how can I say, just end it.

I was picked on for absolutely stupid reasons. I was overweight back then. I was quiet and shy (still am). I didn't have the privileges or possessions many of the other kids had. These are all reasons that people, whether it's kids, teenagers, or adults should not be copping abuse for. Despite not having the same privileges and possessions of the other kids, my brothers and I were lucky to receive video games every now and then, usually for birthday or Christmas presents, something I am eternally grateful to my parents for.

I've grown up with video games my whole life and they're a big influence on me. Like many of you, I love games. I love the stories, I love the interaction, the graphics and visuals, the sound and music, the gameplay. Nintendo games always have a way to nail all these aspects on the head. Games in general also helped me through these difficult times as a teenager. It's sad but I must admit, I used games as a form of an escape.

I remember my older brother got The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for Game Cube for his birthday back in 2003. I remember this, because I remember when playing this game I was going through one of the toughest times in my teenage life (which I won't get into). I just remember that this game was something that seriously helped me during those times. One of my favorite things about the game was the travel mechanic, sailing on a boat.

Back then when I was fifteen years old and playing this game, I would sail on the digital seas of Hyrule, traveling from one destination to the next whilst listening to the in-game music and strangely, I would feel so calm, so at peace. I would think about the things in my life that made me happy and I wouldn't think about all the things that were making me so miserable. It was a really nice feeling.

Now that I have the HD edition for the Wii U, almost the exact same feeling struck me again as soon as I started sailing for the first time. While it was a similar feeling, a calm feeling of peace, I wasn't thinking about things to make me happy but rather, I was reflecting, thinking about myself eleven years ago when I played this game, thinking about the times and what I was going through back then. I then wonder, as I sail those digital waters, the kids who bullied me back in my teenage years, where are they now, what are they doing? To confess, normally when I reflect on bullies of the past, it usually fills me with negative emotions; however, when I reflected back on these bullies whilst sailing in-game, I felt no negative emotion, I only felt peace.

One of the reasons I love The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker so much is because not only is it a great game in its own right, but it seriously helped me through one of the hardest times of my teenage life, and funnily enough it was mostly because of the sailing aspect of the game.

Do you have any games that have helped you through tough times? You don't have to tell us what was going on at the time, but I would love to hear what games helped you through these difficult times.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted earlier in May 31, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan
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