The Toronto District School Board has an unusual school located downtown. I’ve had the privilege of working with Oasis for a number of years. I am proud to publish this story   When Skateboarding Meets Video Games By Jessica The world is boring. Every day is the same trudge through work or school and all of your decisions are controlled by your parents, teachers or other authority figures in your life. This may not be how it is in reality, but many teens do feel this way about their lives. One stereotype of teenagers is that they are impulsive so adults try and take control of their lives and make decisions for them. Is it any wonder why teenagers struggle for some feeling of agency? This is the sort of things both skateboarding and video games can fix. Both of them offer a sense of rebellion against authority and taking control of your own life and decisions, finding meaning and purpose and escaping from that grey everyday world. The parallels may not seem obvious at first. Skateboarding is usually done outside while you usually play video games inside. We also see videogames as more of a mental sport while skateboarding is a physical one, although this is not always the case. As a person who has always been passionate about video games and who has used them as a coping mechanism, I can see parallels between what I get out of video games and what people get out of skateboarding. For me, video games have been about leaving behind this life and going into another’s, becoming a hero. I am given so much more power than in my physical life, I know that I’m important now and I become proud and confident. Skateboarding can have the same effect. At first you may be quiet and aloof, doing little to interact with others, but as soon as you’re on a skateboard, you transform. You are no longer unsociable, you are now loud and confident, you’re no longer you, you’re the Skateboarder. As The Skateboarder you have so much more power and can do so much more with your body than you could do before. With becoming another person, you lose the restraints of your old self and gain a new identity around other people. In these new identities, you find purpose. It’s easy to find purpose in these two activities because they give you reachable short term and long term goals that revolve around you succeeding. In video games, you have to complete levels and defeat enemies, while the long term goal could be defeating the villain or saving the world. With skateboarding, short term goals include trying new tricks and getting better at them while long term goals could be contributing to the subculture’s community. Giving purpose makes people feel motivated to keep living and to continue trying to get better regardless of failure. For a long time society has seen video games and skateboarding as inherently dangerous for teenagers and children, leading them to lives of apathy and laziness. Of course, they’re wrong. Society consistently overlooks the positive effects of skateboarding and video games and how they can aid teenagers and children with their mental health. From these different outlets, it’s possible to find the meaning, purpose and identity that teenagers can ground themselves in and find some sort of peace.