Richmond resident featured in new documentary about positive impacts of gaming

“To see him realize that these video games have meaning and purpose, that was the moment for me.”

Brendan Pryde, 22, who struggles with bipolar disorder, is thankful for his dad’s support and understanding while growing up, especially now that he’s earning some income from game streaming.

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And after the pair watched a newly released documentary about the positive impacts of gaming, Pryde’s dad can now see how important video games are to him.

“The big thing for me was … we got to capture a lot of my dad in (the documentary) with how he supported me through my journey and my dad was sitting right beside me during the (release party) event,” said Pryde.

The Richmond resident has teamed up with other gamers in the Lower Mainland to create a film set in the esports (electronic sports) industry – available on Telus On Demand and YouTube.

Called Smash Forward, it focuses on a few players in the local fighting game community (FGC), including Pryde, who uses his own surname as his gaming identity.

The film, according to Pryde, originally focused on himself and his struggle with his invisible illness, but Melissa Dex Guzman, the film director, realized that the project grew to include other aspects of the local gaming community.

“When it got to the finished product, it was so much more than just me; it was everyone I know,” said Pryde.

The 22-year-old said that playing video games has been a “good translation for how (he is) feeling” during the time he battles with bipolar.

He has met many friends, through tournaments and events, who are there for him and care about him.

Pryde explained that “there are a lot of people (who) have a negative stigma on what video games are” and that he was very happy to see many parents at the documentary release party.

Esports, said Pryde, is an inclusive community, adding that “your background, your gender, your financial whatever and anything like that” doesn’t matter.

The love for video games grew from a hobby to a career goal for Pryde when he graduated from the Nimbus School of Recording and Media in Vancouver.

He moved to Richmond around four years ago from Burnaby with his dad and has grown to love and appreciate the city, with its access to Internet cafes, the gaming stadium on No. 3 Road and a lot of esports.

Pryde’s “game plan” is to be able to work in the esports community at the elite level similar to the League of Legends competitions, whether as an esports caster, competitor or coach.

“I always have that goal in mind. I can’t see myself doing anything else; this is where I belong to be honest,” said Pryde.

The full 20-minute documentary can be viewed on YouTube.

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