Any real gamer knows how it feels when a parent or a loved one questions their need to game. It can be hard to explain the joy that we feel whenever we accomplish something in-game, and what that joy means to our real lives.
Guest author Klara Czerwinska looks at whether video games can be a healthy outlet for stress relief. To find out more about Klara Czerwinska, click here.
Gaming has enjoyed a boom in recent decades, in no small part due to mobile games expanding our collective ideas on who qualifies as a gamer. While long-standing ideas of what a gamer is invariably straight and male, there is a wide spectrum of demographics that play video games regularly today.
As playing video games has become more accepted into the mainstream, the need to defend our desire to play games has diminished. But this has not stopped scientists from trying to explain our need to game.
According to recent studies and the research of a group of psychologists who specialize in gaming, video games can lead to a host of benefits whether we are aware of it or not. The most fertile research area is the link between video games and stress relief.
Stress continues to be a silent killer for many people. Video gaming has its own kind of stress, especially for highly competitive players. But for most people, playing video games allow you to invest in something and achieve goals, without taking too much. In essence, you never get more than the stress you are willing to put on yourself—helping you put your stresses in life in perspective.
Of course, old-school gamers have been saying this for years, but this time, even non-gamers will have to acknowledge the truth. Let’s take a closer look at four of the biggest ways video games can help relieve your stress.
Casual games are the most obvious example of video game stress relief. There are thousands of casual games available for free through Google Play or the App Store.
These games can be learned in an instant, and provide whatever you need at a moment’s notice. Do you need a quick way to distract yourself from a stressful experience, so you can come back to it stronger the next day? Do you need a new hobby to help you get over your stress?
Even casual gambling games can help with this issue.
Online Casino Games
If you want to reduce stress casino game options like online slots can help alleviate the pressure, as long as you stick with small amounts of bets. Polish players for example enjoy playing online casino games from the comfort of their home and distressing after a tiring day’s work. If you are looking for a good online casino in Poland, we suggest 22bet.
Video Games Can be Cooperative or Competitive
Some gamers love competing with others, deriving the most thrills from out-thinking or out-strategizing opponents. Others enjoy cooperating with others, feeling most fulfilled when they create something worthwhile with another person.
Whatever kind of gamer you are, there is a video game that fits your stress relief needs.
Contrary to what many of us think of when we think of video games, there are tons of games with no real overarching goal. There are many open-ended video games that allow players to create their own world with no real purpose other than to live in it.
Examples of such sandbox-style games where the only limit is your creativity are The Sims, Minecraft, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing. You’d be surprised at the wide range of people you can encounter playing these games.
With competitive gaming, a fair amount of stress is certainly involved. Because you desire so strongly to win, losing can sometimes feel cataclysmic. However, competitive gamers derive enjoyment from winning from their own efforts. The stress they feel while gaming is entirely within their control, unlike in real life, where stresses are often imposed on us by external factors.
Games Can Teach Coping Skills
Enjoying video games necessitates some form of getting good. It is almost impossible not to get good at something you enjoy so much. Most gamers, even casual ones, get good at their games through habits they unconsciously pick up while trying to win.
In competitive gaming environments, players quickly learn that allowing your emotions to get the best of you will lead to more losses in the long run. If you want to win, you must learn to control your emotions to perform at your best, putting you in a position to succeed.
These coping skills will translate not just to video games, but also to life and whatever you’re pursuing.
So, you can definitely reduce stress by playing your favorite video games, just remember to do everything in moderation.