AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Some Airmen use hiking to destress and for some it’s a face mask with a glass of grape juice, for Airman 1st Class Jason Collier video gaming with others is where he alleviates stress in his life.
“I've been gaming, probably since my consciousness came to,” said Collier, 31st Maintenance Squadron electronic warfare journeyman.
Moving to another country and starting his military career, Collier found himself unable to fully enjoy playing video games at first.
“I've always found my way back to gaming, it's just been such a pivotal part, “ said Collier. “Especially now, it's one of those things that gives me that social battery I need. For some people it's just like going out with friends.”
Gaming provides the ability to make new connections. Sometimes it provides that cohesion that we all strive to work on. In the maintenance world we wake up, go to work, come home and go to sleep. One of the great things that keeps me connected despite that routine is the Aviano Gamer Group discord. It provides the ability to mingle with other people throughout the Air Force gaming community and can be a huge destressor in people's lives.
“Everyone wants those destressors in their life, right, and if you're not working at your fullest, i.e. if you're too stressed, then you're not going to be a good asset to the military.” said Collier.
Collier goes on to explain that going out is not for everybody. The idea is that the discord basically allows people to stay in and play video games with all kinds of other people.
“So I would say, just try it out. You never know what kind of friends you will meet. You never know what kind of connections you make. Right?”
Managed by Air Force Services Center, a unit of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, the Department of the Air Force Gaming League focuses on supporting resiliency and retention efforts by bringing Airmen and Guardians together through global esports community experiences and competitive leagues.
Initially, the Air Force Gaming community was restricted to only users within the active-duty military community. With the success and growth, the community is allowing for wide-open participation in community led events and weekend tournaments.
Groups such as retired Air Force veterans; family members and youth; wounded warriors; reserves and guard; U.S. Air Force Academy and ROTC cadets; and all DAF civilians can now participate.
Airmen and Space Professionals can visit airforcegaming.com or visit their Facebook or Twitter page for more information on the official gaming program and competition hub for the Air Force and Space Force.