Mental Health issues are stigmatized in every country in the world. It’s truly a shame, as so many people suffer on a daily basis. When I was 14, I moved three days before my freshmen year of high school. I knew nobody in a school of roughly 3,000 students. I had home problems like most kids, but I didn’t dare talk about them. I was extremely shy. I isolated myself from everyone and everything, even those who attempted to reach out. I missed my friends. I missed having a place in something extraordinary, which I had. I wanted to go home so badly. I wanted to be with my friends, and I couldn’t let go, which is my fatal flaw (it’s why I love Jack from LOST so much). It was one of the most difficult trials I’ve had to face in my life. I had always loved Zelda, but once I moved, I played it more and more. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time saved my life. Quite literally. I was 12-years-old when Ocarina of Time came out. I played it countless times, but it never got old. I also played the music from it by ear on my trumpet. It was one of my passions. Then I moved. I lost everything. I was all alone. I lost myself entirely. What I did have though was my Nintendo 64 and Ocarina of Time. I always identified with the Hero of Time. He was always out of place, he was always alone. He was an outsider just like me. Ocarina of Time gave me a cathartic release that I so desperately needed to express my emotions. Stories have served this function for thousands of years, even before the Greek tragedies; stories are how we make sense of our world. The greatest cutscene in gaming. I must have played through Ocarina of Time 20 times in a year on my N64, red blood and a crescent moon on my mirror shield included. Because I identified with this Link so much, who is one of the best Links in the series, I was able to make some sense of my life. I was able to carry on and experience a deep catharsis, which is an emotional release. If I didn’t have this game in my life, I don’t know if I’d be standing here before you today. Link lost his family, his time, and by the end of Ocarina, no one has any memories of the bonds he built and friendships he made. He lost Navi. His deeds would never be remembered in his timeline. He was all alone in the beginning, and by the end, he was right back where he started. By no means are video games a solution for all your life’s problems, but given the interactive storytelling that video games offer, unlike a film or novel, it is the ultimate way to tell a story. Ocarina of Time’s story was simple but its execution was perfect. The characters were incredible. Ocarina of Time wasn’t a mere escape for me; it allowed me to experience a deep catharsis, especially when I beat the game (I played the final boss battle more times than I can count). Mental health is so stigmatized and there are those who push an agenda that video games cause violence, but this simply isn’t true and has been proven in multiple studies. The ultimate showdown against the trials we face in life This is one of the reasons I regard Ocarina of Time as being the greatest game ever. It saved my life. If I didn’t experience this game, I would have had no outlet to release the deep and painful emotions that devastated my life. Eventually, I worked through what I went through in those years and worked incredibly hard to get to where I am today, which is healthy. But if I did not have this game, I wouldn’t be writing this. I would have died. Ocarina saved me and showed me that even when you lose everything, there is still hope. It taught me to keep on fighting and keep moving forward no matter what, because the future has endless possibilities. Even the seemingly most insignificant person in the world, who belongs nowhere and who is all alone, can change the world. The seemingly most insignificant person becomes the hero that is destined to save the world. This is why I’m here today and why I have a Legend of Zelda tattoo. It’s to remind myself to never give up and to keep fighting, even when I feel alone and insignificant. If Link, who is a nobody, can change the fate of the world, so can I. I tattooed the Hylian Crest on the nape of my neck to remind myself of this. That is why I am the guywazeldatatt.