Video Games Relieve Stress for Veterans

When active duty military members are engaged in team-bonding activities, they suffer less mental stress, one of the main contributing factors to developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veteran Stephen Machuga knows firsthand the beneficial effects of having a video game hobby, and that’s why he founded Stack-Up.org. While it might not be possible to transport an arcade cocktail table to Iraq or Afghanistan, Machuga has a dedicated mission: supply soldiers with fun, exciting video games to help pass the time.

Stack-Up.org Origins

Machuga struggled with PTSD after a 13-month deployment to Iraq. Piles of garbage on trash pick-up day brought him back to his days searching for explosives hidden in refuse, causing a build-up of tension that would prevent him from leaving his home.

After playing World of Warcraft non-stop for weeks and months after it was released, Machuga found himself immersed in a new hobby, which helped him acclimate to normal, everyday life. He founded Stack-Up with a mission to impart this hobby to fellow soldiers, providing them with an escape while deployed in combat zones, while injured in military hospitals, or stationed on bases in America.

While it’s important for soldiers to have an outlet on an individual level, video games also provide a sense of community within a unit. The team can organize tournaments and hold contests, all without leaving the safety of their camp. It’s a relaxing way to unwind after the long, grueling, stressful days that military members face during deployments.

Make a Donation

Stack-Up accepts donations, then fills supply crates with games, gaming consoles and paraphernalia and ships them to military units. The organization is particularly interested in working Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles and games. Since Stack-Up is a registered non-profit, every donation over $250 is tax deductible.  

Stack-Up provides other services, including sponsoring selected military members so they can attend a gaming conference for free, such as PAX or Comic-Con. They also have local teams across America where veterans can connect and get involved in events. It’s a positive way to meet like-minded men and women who share the love for video games and support the military.