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Gamer did not leave house for over a year.

Gamers have been popularly seen as individuals who hole up at home for days or weeks while devoting all their time to games and nothing else.

As it turns out, some gamers have very legitimate reasons to stay indoors, like video game streamer Troy, also known online as Beef Erikson, who suffers from agoraphobia, an intense and irrational fear of open and/or public spaces, reports Kotaku.

Troy explains in an interview with Kotaku that he has had agoraphobia since he was young but it was only in his adult life that he managed to receive help and a clinical diagnosis of his condition.

Spending most of his time indoors playing games and streaming them online, the last time that Troy ventured out in public was when he went out to buy Nintendo Wii U games.

'I went to GameStop a couple of months ago and even that wasn't a far trip at all,' says Troy. He pauses for a few seconds, as if lost in thought. 'I wanted some Wii U games,' he laughs. 'That was interesting.'

Prior to that trip, Troy had not set foot outside his home for more than a year.

Living together with his girlfriend Amy, Troy says that he has come to live with his condition and sees video game streaming as a means of reaching out to the outside world. He has been doing it for the past two and a half years.

'Being in touch with people is the main drive and it's finding people who have the same interests as me.'

Troy adds, 'A lot of these people, I won't drop any names, have the same issues: anxiety, there's a couple of agoraphobic people that I know of that watch my stream. I think the majority of my viewers are in the same boat that I am, to varying degrees. I'm quite close to a lot of them and I've formed a lot of bonds through the common denominator of gaming-it brings us together and that's been really great.'

Like many gamers, Troy is excited about the possibilities of virtual reality. Even more so because it could be highly beneficial to agoraphobics like himself, who find it impossible to travel overseas.

Until then, he has this to say to fellow sufferers of agoraphobia: 'To those that are suffering from it: it's okay. You just have to rethink the way that you live and acceptance will definitely set you free.'

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 21, 2017
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