Never Give In: Artist Exclusive With Saabiqah Tariq Khan

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Gaming makes 15-year-old Saabiqah feel brave enough to tackle anything.

This article is part of the Never Give In campaign, where 21 young Cardiffians were commissioned to create a piece of art showing how gaming affects their mental health. This is the story of Saabiqah, a 15-year-old artist who was part of the project.

How has gaming affected your mental health? 

Whenever I’m feeling the need to cool off, I always love to sit on Minecraft and build a pretty house and fight zombies, or simply play a few shooting games and have a laugh with my friends and cousins. It often is my relaxing muse and I enjoy it because it helps to take the stress off of my shoulders!

Minecraft is a wonderful game and I love it dearly because it allows me to take away all the remaining bubbling creativity that runs constantly in my head like a treadmill, endlessly going on and on. So, when I sit comfortably in my chair and take out my controller, I’m building away and letting my mind run free without fret or worry. It’s my love to build comfy little houses because that’s what I feel when I play – comfortable and happy.  

Sometimes I play a game called Black Ops or Modern Warfare. It seems like a big game for a kid like me, but it puts me into the shoes of the soldiers and marines who risk their lives saving others! I feel brave taking down bad guys and saving people, and it makes me happy on a low and shallow day. 

What inspired you to create this artwork? 

I decided to draw my persona in Minecraft. Instead of making an obvious piece of art about how games made me feel, I’ve drawn myself in the position of the player. I was inspired by the feeling of being brave. In Minecraft, it’s very scary to go out at night because of all the monsters that come out in the dark. I drew myself getting ready to leave, as I am feeling brave and strong. Gaming taught me that the dark doesn’t scare me!  

The lighting gives a strong feeling to the one looking at it. When I see my art, I feel like jumping on my console and battling some explosive creepers and old green zombies. It’s a hero on a journey vibe – I like it! The vibes make the player FEEL brave and that’s how gaming makes me feel! 

Sometimes I do get scared and dig into the ground, but those were the old days. I’m a warrior now! Soon enough I’ll be back onto Minecraft to fight witches and Endermen, and even go to battle the super scary Enderdragon.  

The message behind my work is to make sure you look on with a brave face and don’t let the scary side of it get to you. Be sure to stay determined! 

What message would you give to someone who is struggling with their mental health? 

Don’t let the darkness get to you. And if you let it, keep a torch lit because eventually, that torch will lead you back to the light. Be sure to keep your head high with your torch, too!  

Try your hardest to beat the negativity away with a stick because it sucks and it’s better to stay determined than mope in a grey lake of doom. Looking below and into the dark will keep you blindsided and that isn’t good. 

To find out more about the Never Give In campaign and see the incredible artwork from all of the other artists, click HERE.

Struggling with your mental health? Check out TheSprout’s Mental Health Information Page where you can find loads of local and national support services.

If you’re sharing our posts from the Never Give In campaign on social media, remember to use the #PositiveMentalGaming hashtag. Feel free to tag us so we can see what you’re sharing!

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