My original reasons for becoming involved with Holoseat back in 2013 were pretty simple:

  1. I loved playing video games
  2. I didn’t get enough exercise
  3. Overall the concept sounded really cool.

Over the years though, that has evolved. To explain why Holoseat is important to me now, I need to talk about my life. I suffer from social anxiety and depression.

Just typing that was something I couldn’t have brought myself to do when we started on Holoseat five years ago. Back then I didn’t realize how much I was struggling with my mental health. Thankfully, through the support of my family and friends I realized how much it was affecting me.

The blogs and podcasts I follow have helped me realize the importance of speaking publicly about my mental health. Society still heavily sigmatizes those with mental illness in the US. Adding even one more voice to the discussion surrounding mental health is something that is needed. I’m willing to add my voice thanks to the influences of Wil Wheaton, Jenny Lawson, and Justin and Syndee McElroy.

Why have my mental health issues changed my motivations to work on Holoseat? The answer is simple and very well documented. Exercise helps, period. Study after study has shown that symptoms of both anxiety and depression can be relieved through exercise. Since I’m not one who’s likely to exercise as much as I should, having my normally sedentary hobby include a workout is huge win. Prior to having our child, I got up every morning and used the Holoseat for an hour to get in some gaming. I mean a workout. That resulted not only in weight loss but overall better mental health.

The percentage of people I know who identify as gamers who also have issues with anxiety and depression is pretty high. Many of those same people also admit don’t get enough exercise. By providing an outlet that combines something the person enjoys (gaming) and exercise it makes them more likely to get the exercise they need.

So why Holoseat? Because depression and anxiety suck, and using the Holoseat to exerfy games gives you another weapon in your arsenal to combat them. That I’m helping to create another weapon is what motivates me to work on Holoseat.

Exercise can be a weapon to combat these issues, but being open and honest about how they are affecting you is also important. I want to personally thank the people who have helped me and inspired me to be open about this. Your frank discussions of mental health have helped me get to this point.

  • Wil Wheaton – Thank you for your discussions of mental health both on your blog and on the Radio Free Burrito podcast –
  • Jenny Lawson – Your openness and honesty about mental health is inspiring –
  • Justin and Sydnee McElroy – Your podcast episode on Sawbones (Our Mental Health Stories) was the catalyst for this post. Justin mentioned exercise being something that helped, but that finding motivation was hardbecause he didn’t enjoy it. That one statement reminded me why I feel Holoseat is important.
  • Finally, my wife Jess. My biggest cheerleader, my drill sergeant, my inspiration, and my best friend. Without you I probably still wouldn’t have recognized my mental health issues, let alone be willing to talk about them.