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Aussie blogger brings Movember mental health series to WoW blog

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Pitched battle in a frantic Battleground feels a little like Armageddon if you're on the wrong side of the wave. Depression can feel the same way to those struggling in its iron coils. Winding together entertaining and informative posts about both is popular blogger Gnomeaggedon, whose WoW blog (which has been tackling PvP topics since the summer of 2008) is working through a special month-long series on depression and mental health for the mustachioed Movember men's health movement.

You wouldn't think someone who's struggled with depression himself and mental health issues in his immediate family would be a big fan of the emotional highs and lows of Battlegrounds. It's one of the questions Gnomeaggedon toys with regularly: "Kind of related to your interview with Lady Erinia -- is depression caused by excessive video gaming, or is video gaming 'self-medication' for depression? I know in my case, my depression began when I was a child. I had no idea, and things like that weren't discussed in my family -- so treatment came 20 years 'late.' And where WoW was an escape from the difficulties of life (as alcohol, etc., had been in the past), most people assumed I had a (stereotypical) problem with gaming."

With a backlog of years' worth of posts about being a gnome mage, the PvP lifestyle, and scattered plugs for the awareness of mental health issues, Gnomeaggedon has left an indelible imprint in the WoW blogosphere. We had a cozy email conversation with the Aussie player to explore his enthusiastic support for Movember, how many fellow WoW players -- people you play with every day -- are likely to be touched in some way by mental health issues, and how "cleansing the debuff" of mental illness can make such a difference in people's lives.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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