Video Games, Movies, Life

The question to ask is why.
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Gaming as Stress Relief




There are many reasons that people play video games. Those reasons range from simple boredom to more serious social anxieties that prevent people from interacting with others on an in-person level. For me it is more of a stress reliever.

I have been a gamer of sorts for many years. When I was a kid I played on my Atari. Those days it was just about playing for the fun of it. There were only a handful of games and they were very repetitive in nature. They were all arcade style games.

Today we have games that are much more in-depth. I must say that Star Wars Galaxies was the game that brought me back into gaming. I bought a PC just to play it. My wife joined me and we enjoyed our time in it. We made friends in the game that lasted past just that game. From there the move was into WoW. I will have to say I spent more time playing that MMO than any other game in my life. I played it for almost a decade without venturing off into anything else. I looked forward to playing it. It was a break from the stress of the real world, but I understood what it was. It was a game and a social outlet.

I had young kids and with early bed times there was no going out late and hanging out with friends. The time I would start up gaming each night was right after bedtime for the kids. The game world was almost much more controllable than the real world. I needed that to balance out everything else. As time went on and the cost of keeping up a gaming PC rose to what I felt was a crazy level, I converted to a console gamer.

While I do still play MMO style games here and there. I tend to run a cycle of about 5 games a year. There are a few that I go back to for short spells. Diablo 3 is a good example. I like the grinding dungeon style, but after a few weeks I will get bored with it and I will move onto something else. Right now, I am taking a break from Elite Dangerous and playing Diablo 3, but will be going back to Elite Dangerous real soon. From there I am not sure, there are a few games on the horizon I am keeping an eye on. Games with story draw me in more than the ones that are just about killing stuff.

It is still my stress relief. My kids are all out of grade school now. The youngest is in college and the oldest two are figuring out life, I think. For all of us, gaming is a part of our lives. To different levels of course. Even my daughter is a gamer to an extent. There are some people who look down on gaming but I think it has a purpose. I believe it can serve a good purpose. I understand some people put too much focus on their gaming life, which can be a bad thing, but with balance I feel it is a great life tool. A great way to relieve the stress of the world we live in.

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