Is there an age limit to gaming?

I was six when I started playing games. Occasionally I would borrow my older brothers’ Game Boy to play Pokemon and later The Adventure of Zelda, and people didn’t seem to mind. I’m sure that at that age people were just glad they could leave me to do something on my own and they didn’t have to worry about me.

Needless to say, I’m not six anymore. As I have gotten older however, peoples’ perception of my gaming has also changed, and not for the better. It seems as though while playing video games as a child was all good, they didn’t expect me to keep playing games past getting into university. When my answer to the question “Do you still play games?” is yes, people walk away as if I just told them I’m a psychopath.

I feel like I should clarify. By people, I mean anyone in my family apart from my parents and brothers.

This is very frustrating for me, not only do I enjoy playing video games for fun, it’s so much more than that. For me it is a means of relaxation and relieving stress, a medium through which I can interact and spend time with friends, and I’m interested and passionate about it. So, the perception that perhaps I’m getting too old to play games, or that there is an age limit at all, is ludicrous to me.

Perhaps it is just a traditional way of thinking that causes them to think that I should rethink my hobbies, and pick more adult pass-times such as reading books or watching movies. But I don’t see why I can’t enjoy those things, and still enjoy playing video games, without feeling like everyone still sees me as a child (give me a good book and I’ll happily read it over playing video games).

Also, how did gaming become seen as a childish pass-time? If anything, one of the reasons gaming is so great is because of the huge variety of games out there to pick from, meaning there is likely something for everyone, of any age. Besides, playing video games has been linked to many health benefits such as improved memory, reduced stress and depression, better decision making, and improved vision. And it makes me happy, isn’t that the main thing?

Well, that’s my little rant of the day, hopefully I’m not the only one that feels this way. I would love to know what you think though. Is there an age limit to gaming? Let me know in the comments, and if you enjoyed this post, give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂

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My 10 favorite co-op games

I’ve talked about my love of co-op games on this blog a number of times. I have praised the immense potential they have for enjoyment and the fact that by requiring co-operation, they test friendships and relationships like no other games can.

So I figure that this is a good time to run through some of my picks for my favorite co-op games I’ve ever played. The basis of my criteria is fun. Enjoyment is what I’m all about in games, and that’s the main thing I’m going to consider.

Some things to note beforehand though. Firstly, if I haven’t played a game, I can’t say if it’s one of my favorite, so there may be games out there I would absolutely love that I just haven’t played. Secondly, this list is highly subjective, so don’t be surprised if a co-op game you love doesn’t make it onto the list. Each persons’ list is bound to be different.

But without further ado, let’s jump into it:

10) Crawl

Kicking off this list is the dungeon crawler where “Your friends control the monsters”. Crawl is an inventive, original game that is an interesting blend of dungeon crawler, and hot potato. One player is the hero, who tries to kill monsters and get experience and loot to defeat the boss and win the game. The rest of the players are monsters, who are trying to kill the hero and become the hero themselves to have a shot at winning. The result is an incredibly fun game where one minute you are all ganging up on the hero, and the next minute you are fighting for your life against all of your friends. Every game is different, and the replay value is amazing.

9) Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 is a class-based, zombie killing gore fest that improves on the original in nearly every way, making for an extremely enjoyable experience as you and your friends fight off waves of Zed. Every class feels balanced and unique in their own way, with my personal favorites being the Medic and Berserker classes. One of the main attractions however is the gore system. Named the MEAT system, every enemy has 22 distinct locations on their body that you can hit and potentially gib. The system works wonderfully, with the gore feeling realistic, impactful and satisfying as it should be.

8) Dungeon of the Endless

While I only got Dungeon of the Endless about a month ago, I have fallen in love with it. The hybrid tower-defense/roguelike strikes all the right notes. It is challenging and intense, while also being enjoyable and exciting. When playing with friends however, that is all amplified. Working together and managing your limited resources to fight off increasingly difficult waves of enemies is vital, and things can go from happy and good to “Holy crap we just got wasted” with a single bad turn. Fun to play alone, but way better with friends, this is how a co-op game should be.

7) Gears of War 2

One of my favorite games from my days of being an Xbox gamer, and one of my all time favorite games to play with friends. Gears of War 2 was for me the high point in the series, the campaign was awesome, killing Locust was as fun as ever, and like Killing floor 2 earlier in this list, the gore was on point. The stand out feature for me was the Horde mode. It was the first time I had played a survival-esque mode in a game and boy was it a blast. Rounds started easy and quickly became a matter of running for dear life and finding choke points to hold off the seemingly invincible monsters with a friend. Intense, gory, and insanely enjoyable in one game mode.

6) Borderlands 2

Hands down one of the best loot-fest games I’ve ever played. Borderlands 2 would technically be a first-person, role-playing shooter game, and it nails every aspect of it. In a word, it’s just fun. Everything about Borderlands 2 makes it a joy to play, the comedy is some of the best I’ve seen in a game, it is fast paced and the loot is rewarding and of course, there is a huge variety, making each gun feel different from the last. On top of all of this, it was built for co-op play. Playing with friends is hectic, chaotic and fun, making it one of my favorite co-op games ever.

5) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Modern Warfare 2 was for me, the peak of the franchise. Aside from the fun, fast paced action and all the times it got me through study breaks when I needed some stress relief, the thing that puts this game this far up the list is it’s near perfect spec-ops mode. The spec-ops mode is a series of 2 player missions, and each and every one of them is so much fun. Some of my fondest memories gaming was trying to get 3 stars in every mission with my brother, and especially the final missions which are just full of juggernauts, made for some incredibly fun moments.

4) Terraria

A pixel art, 2-D, open world role playing game with exploration, crafting, and more items, and monsters than you can fathom, sign me up. The exploration and combat is incredibly exciting and enjoyable, and with such a huge range of items to find, which change the game and make you feel unique and awesome, there is always something to do, and I can easily spend hours upon hours in this game without even realising. With a friend to go through all of this with you, the game becomes even more fun and exciting. Exploring and fighting together is almost addictive sometimes.

3) GTA V (GTA online)

The sky’s the limit in open world games, with so many options and such freedom to do what you want to do, the world is literally a playground, one where your imagination is the fuel for what you do. This freedom is what I enjoy most about open world games, and GTA V represents the pinnacle of this genre. Of course, the best way to skyrocket the fun is to add a friend and see what kind of crazy ideas you can up with and try out together. Certainly discovering all of this games’ features and experimenting with many silly ideas has been a source of a lot of antics, and more fun times than I can remember.

2) Towerfall Ascension

The king of local co-op games, Towerfall Ascension is an endlessly fun and addictive game, and is the most fun you will ever have shooting your friends in the face with an arrow. Simple and easy to learn, but difficult to master, Towerfall was designed with multiplayer in mind, and that is certainly where it shines. All the way through the campaign it is challenging, hectic and endlessly funny. Absolutely recommended if you like having fun.

1) Portal 2

It makes sense that this legendary game made it to the top of this list. The portal-based puzzle game is as endlessly clever and funny as it is enjoyable and fun. Taking everything awesome about the first, and adding more of it created a perfect single player, and a co-op campaign that strains the mind as well as the relationship between you and whoever you are sharing the experience with. By forcing you to work together to achieve victory, Portal 2 provides an infinite number of opportunities for fun, as well as screwing each other over, until you reach the end of end level, which never fails to fill you with an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. Like the single player, the comedy is on point and hilarious, as your AI narrator constantly puts you down, and tries to pit you and your partner against each other. It creates an experience that is almost difficult to put into words, as it is so special that you really need to play through it yourself to know what I mean.

 

Well those are just some of my favorite co-op games, and now I would love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite co-op games? What are some of your fondest memories playing games with someone else? Let me know in the comments, and if you enjoyed this post, be sure to give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂

Thoughts: Ragdoll effects in games

We all have those moments, where you are playing a game, everything is going great, you are having a lot of fun, and before you know it, something happens. This could be dying, falling, crashing, anything depending on what game your playing. Something happens, your character goes limp, and gets tossed around the map like a wet salad.

You know it, it’s a ragdoll.

I always loved playing around with the ragdoll effects in games, whether it be trying to launch the body of my character as far as possible across the map, or trying to make it convulse in the most unnatural ways, it was one of my favourite things to do in games. Sometimes you can even glitch through the wall for bonus points if it’s the right game.

I’ve never exactly been able to explain my love of ragdoll physics to others though? Maybe it’s just because it’s something you would never see in real life, maybe it’s because of all the weird and wonderful trick shots that happen while playing around with them. Maybe I just have some strange fondness for making limp bodies fly through the air like majestic eagles.

Hopefully in this post I can run through a couple of ragdoll effects I enjoy playing around with in games, using various games as examples to help me with my point.

I can remember the first game that really got me into ragdolls was Resistance, on the PS3. I remember there was a part of the game where you went up an elevator, that was fully open to a large a hangar, perfect for launching Nathan Hale into the far corners of the earth. Combine that with a respawn point at the top of the elevator, and I could send the protagonist into the great beyond with a great big grenade blast under his kiester for hours. Thankfully Resistance was a game where you could glitch through the world, because that just opened up a whole new realm of fun for me upon that discovery.

Halo 3 has to be another favourite. Not only does it give you plenty of time to see what happens to Master Chiefs body after dying, but the ragdoll system in that game had an interesting mechanic. If you hit a surface while travelling really fast (as a ragdoll) for a split second your body contorts and glitches out into unnatural positions. By using the replay feature, I could launch my body with explosives, and pause it at the moment my body collided with a surface, and see things that cannot be unseen. It also makes ramming UNSC marines with a ghost that much more fun, because their bodies are prone to ragdoll spasm as well.

Skyrim, on top of being an amazing game, had some great ragdoll physics. I’m not just talking about Fus Ro Dahing people off of mountain tops, as fun as that is, but also it’s a great game for glitches. One of the two most striking examples I can think of occur when a giant does a huge crushing attack on you, and causes your body (or that of any creature) to be launched to the moon. It’s a pretty incredible thing to see, and is sadly an extremely rare glitch in games. The other involves using the Ice Form shout. If you freeze someone (or are frozen yourself by the Greybeard’s) and they fall off of a cliff, sometimes it can cause the body to convulse and move around in the air, disobeying the laws of physics. Both of these glitches are well known and can be easily found on Youtube if you are curious, and they are definitely some of the finest examples of ragdoll physics I’ve ever seen. Also, you have the ability to move bodies and place them into some strange positions. So all in all, Skyrim does ragdolls right.

Moving on, GTA IV had one of the funnest things you could do in a game, and that was being hit by helicopter blades. Whether it be jumping into the blades of another person’s helicopter, or causing yourself to bounce into your own helicopter blades, they send you soaring through the air, at super-sonic speed, leading to some hilarious post death moments. If you don’t believe me, try it yourself 🙂

Moving onto another favourite feature, I want to talk about impalement. In particular, impalement in Half life 2. Powered by the Source engine (an awesome engine for ragdolls), Half Life 2 features a crossbow weapon, effectively the sniper weapon of the game. The fun thing about this weapon, apart from it being a one shot kill against normal enemies, is that if they are close enough to the wall, you can actually stick them to the wall, hung up by the bolt of the crossbow. The impact of the shot combined with their body becoming lodged to the wall behind them, limply dangling from bolt, is immensely satisfying, and I laughed for a full minute when I first saw this happen. Better yet, you can shoot the already hung ragdoll and stick it to the wall with multiple bolts. And of course, who can forget the infamous super-charged gravity gun, which turns enemies into ragdolls that you can propel at other enemies. Hands-down one of my all time favourite moments in a video game.

Saving one of the best for last, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare features dismemberment. Now as someone who loves to run around with a big sword slicing people up, I can definitely appreciate it when with the finishing blow, the enemies’ head comes clean off. Even after death, if you continue slashing at the ragdoll, it moves, and more limbs can be cut off. Whether this makes me sadistic or not, I find it hilarious. Sadly, dismemberment doesn’t make it’s way to many games, I remember a mod for Garry’s Mod which allows you to gib particular body parts off of ragdolls, which was also incredible fun, but apart from these two, no other games outright spring to mind.

Well that about wraps this up. Overall, ragdoll effects are something I have thoroughly enjoyed from game to game, with certain features that give each game a special place in my heart, and I look forward to seeing more games using ragdoll physics in fun and interesting ways in the future.

But these are just my thoughts, and I’m sure that you have some of your own and I would love to hear from you. Do you enjoy ragdoll effects as much as I do? What games come to mind that you feel nail the ragdoll effects? Let me know in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this post be sure to give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂

Mindfulness, and how it changed my life

It has come to my attention recently that while I am a gamer, I’m also a student, and part of why I started this blog to share my experiences and tips and tricks when it comes to dealing with university and school life, as well as just life in general. Life is stressful, and while I like to think I’ve got it sort of worked out, it’s never simple, if there is something that works for me, chances it might help someone going through something similar.

However this hasn’t necessarily been reflected in my writing. All of my posts up until now have been gaming focused. I’ll likely fit gaming into most of my posts, but for now it’s time for a change in pace.

Basically, mindfulness is about keeping yourself in the present moment. It’s all about focusing on what is directly in front of you, instead of focusing on the regrets of the past or the worries about the future too much as people, including me, do.

When mindfulness was introduced to me last year, I was in a pretty dark place. The intense stress and mountain of a workload that is medical school was really getting to me. I was having anxiety, breathing problems, lacking motivation to study, I was a wreck, I needed a change and I needed it fast.

Seemingly out of nowhere, we had a lecture on this. Mindfulness. I had never hear of it before, and it sounded like something worth a try.

Simply put, it is a form of meditation. Not the type where you sit cross-legged on the ground saying “Ouuuuummmm”.Though it is similar. There are many guided meditations which involve sitting in a chair, and involve mainly focusing on your breathing, and/or bringing your attention to how individual parts of your body are feeling. The effect of this is designed to bring your mind and body together as one, in the present moment.

This in turn, is an extremely powerful and surreal sensation. Even a 5 minute meditation is an amazing way to clear the mind, flushing out all the things I’m stressing out about in the future, as well as all the distractions from things that happened in the past. I like to think of it as taking the pill from Limitless, minus the pill of course. Right after meditating, I feel like I can do anything. Moving into my study I am fully focused and able to work more efficiently than ever before. It also helps my social interactions, being able to listen more deeply, and respond less reactively and with more thought, calmness, and confidence, making for more fulfilling conversations.

So you can imagine that for a struggling medical student, this was a godsend.

Now at this point I’m sure you might be skeptical, I know I was. Up until that point, I hadn’t exactly heard many great things about meditation. Also it may just not be your thing, while it has had a profound impact on my life, I know many people who have seen no benefit from trying mindfulness, and that’s all good. But I highly encourage giving it a go before you judge.

In the months I have been practicing it, I have been happier and more optimistic, I have been more enthusiastic and focused on my studies, which has been reflected in my grades, and my relationships with the people close to me have never been stronger. My emotional and physical wellbeing has never been better, I enjoy play games more, and I am overall more satisfied with my life.

After about 2 months of meditation, I also began to practice mindfulness even while doing other things in my day. Taking a few seconds to just focus on my breathing while walking, on the bus, doing stuff around the house, or even when something happens and I start to get angry or upset, has a profound impact on my state of mind.

Now aside from being happier and stressing out about things less, you might be wondering whether there are actually any health benefits to mindfulness. To this I say there are many.

Mindfulness has been showed to prevent and treat anxiety and depression, something I can say from experience. It also reduces stress, as mentioned earlier, but this has numerous implications on your health such as improved immune function and reduced risk of cancer and heart attack. It also reduces irritability, improves memory, and improves satisfaction with who you are, which is just awesome. Self-confidence can be hard to come by, and certainly all of this has helped me be more comfortable in my own skin.

It turns out there are numerous books written about mindfulness as well, some of which I have been working through, which have improved my appreciation for mindfulness, and which expand my understanding of it, and challenge me to think about it in deeper and more interesting ways. The two that I have read are called True Love, and The Miracle of Mindfulness, and if the effect of mindfulness on my life was ice cream, reading these books were basically the chocolate sauce and sprinkles on top.

So mindfulness improves your physical and mental health, makes you happier, and makes the people around you more happy as well. What is there not to love? If you are interested and it sounds like something you could get into, again, I highly encourage you to look into it and give it a go.

That’s all from me for now, but I would love to know, what do you think about mindfulness? And what do you think of me writing more posts like this where I share my ways of dealing with life and everything in it? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed the post, be sure to give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂

Why I grind in video games.

So to start this off, maybe you already know what it is but I better answer the question just in case. What is grinding? I can assure you it isn’t the dancing kind. Instead, grinding in video games refers to repeating the same or similar actions, in order to earn something as a result, whether it be loot, experience, but usually something of value.

Now, to someone who hasn’t heard of or engaged in grinding, you may think it’s silly, I’ve certainly had my moments. But the reality is grinding takes many forms, has varying degrees, and is something that is very common in games. It can range from killing the same monsters over and over in an MMO to level up, to trying to get headshots with your newest gun in Call of Duty. The first time I can remember grinding in a game was in Pokemon Gold as a kid, after getting my starter and catching a new Pokemon I trained them up in the early routes until the first gym leader didn’t stand a chance (Whitney’s Miltank was still a nightmare though).

So why do people do it?

Surely if you are just repeating something over and over again it’s bound to be boring, and sure, maybe it does get boring every so often, but if you are grinding, the benefits almost always outweigh the negatives.

While I definitely can’t speak for everyone, I can at least speak for me, and perhaps a couple of my reasons will resonate with you. But without further ado, let’s jump into it:

1) The reward

Perhaps the most obvious and straightforward reason, but generally when you are grinding, you are doing it to achieve something or get something out of it. I could go on and on about this, so I’ll try to keep it brief. As I mentioned earlier, this may come in the form of experience so that you can level up and become more powerful. It might also be a certain special piece of loot that only drops from a particular enemy, and/or has a really low drop rate. Maybe you just really like doing the same thing over and over again and that’s the reward for you.

But to give an example, in Borderlands 2, certain legendary guns and equipment have a higher chance to drop from specific enemies, so the best way to get them is, surprise surprise, to kill the respective enemy that drops the item you want over and over again. Thus the grinding begins. I can confidently say I have spent more time grinding gear in Borderlands 2 than I care to admit, but to this day whenever I see an orange rarity drop my heart still skips a beat in excitement.

Either way, leveling up or looking for gear, it’s designed to make your character stronger, thus allowing you to proceed through the game with relatively more ease than before, or even get past a part that had you stuck prior. In some games, grinding may almost be a necessity to progress, and in others, an optional means to make the game a bit easier. Overall it’s that satisfaction and enjoyment gained from reaping the fruits of your labor that drives grinding, and makes it rewarding and fulfilling.

2) It resembles real life

Think about, what do you do in real life? You go to work/study day in and day out, which possibly doesn’t vary drastically on a day to day basis, until one day you get your paycheck, a promotion or a pay rise or an awesome exam result. Sound familiar? Because it parallels what you do in games when you grind for that experience or loot.

Of course, this assumes your day to day life doesn’t vary much, and mine doesn’t, but perhaps what I’m getting at is being able to relate to real world experiences. If you are conditioned in the real world that repeating something productive over and over again yields results, surely that would translate over to a gaming situation.

Even beyond just work and study, learning skills follows the same pattern. Learn. Repeat. Profit. Well, something along that line anyway. Life is full of examples I’m sure, but I like to think that when I get into a game, grinding is an almost instinctive thing to do just because of how well it follows and reinforces this pattern.

3) It provides a good platform for learning and experimenting

This may be stretching it as far as what grinding includes, but you can let me know. Taking a while a stop and do some grinding against the same enemies gives you an opportunity to test out new equipment or skills, while at the same time reaping the benefits of grinding, as well as not progressing further into the game. Certainly sometimes before I want to proceed into what may be a pretty difficult part of the game, I will make sure what works and what doesn’t, and what to watch out for. For this, beating up the same enemies I know that I can take out without too much danger over and over again seems to be an effective method of testing, as well as learning.

Practice makes perfect, and the more time you spend learning how the game works, the better you will get at it. In this way you aren’t even just leveling up or finding better loot, but you can also become a better player. It’s a win win.

4) It’s low stress

Sometimes just sitting back and not having to think too much about what I’m doing can be a good way to relax. Combined with the earlier reasons and in the right situation, repeating the same, usually non-difficult task over and over can almost be therapeutic in it’s relaxation, even more so if there is something that I am trying to accomplish by the grinding.

 

But I am just one person, and these are a few reasons I can come up with, I would love to hear from you. Why do you grind in video games? And what are your thoughts on grinding in games in general? Let me know in the comments below, and if you enjoyed this post, be sure to give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂

Why I don’t play competitive games

Competitive gaming seems to of had a massive surge in the last few years, a surge which I have completely missed. It is staggering to me the number of people that play competitive games nowadays. Whenever I look at the player numbers for games like Dota 2 and CS: GO, there are hundreds of thousands of people playing them day in and day out.

Personally, I have never really jumped on the competitive bandwagon, and honestly, I’ve never exactly been interested in it. This is strange, because in every other facet of my life, I am extremely competitive, and I thrive off of it. Sure enough, whenever I do play a competitive game, I take it very seriously, and this is one of the things I’ll talk about later. By the way, when I say competitive games, I mean all competitive games, as in any game that pits you against other players.

I understand why people enjoy competitive gaming, and I am in no way trying to say that there is something wrong with people who do, because there isn’t anything wrong with people enjoying something I don’t. I used to play Dota 2 quite frequently, but it reached a point where I realised it wasn’t my thing. The fact of the matter remains that I don’t enjoy playing competitively, and hopefully I’ll be able to explain why.

So without further ado, let’s jump into my reasoning.

1) I take it way too seriously

As I alluded too earlier, I’m a very competitive person, so much so that I will turn anything into a challenge, even if it’s just a casual game of cards or something. So you can only imagine how seriously I take competitive games when I do play them.When I play, I play to win. I become a whole different person almost, losing becomes rage inducing and stressful, and all the enjoyment from actually winning is lost, and really, isn’t even that satisfying, so it ends up being this weird situation where I’m not even enjoying the game I’m playing.

That’s what it’s all about for me, is enjoyment, something I’ve talked about a few times on this blog. If I’m not enjoying what I’m playing, then there isn’t really a point for me to keep going, and I certainly don’t need more stress in my life. So when I do play games that are even slightly competitive, I have to change my whole mind set about it, and loosen up, so that I can actually play for fun and not play to win. But if I’m not going to be serious when I play, I don’t to be playing with people who are playing seriously. Funnily enough this is one of the main reasons I stopped playing Overwatch, even on Quick Play, I have found people in general take the game very seriously. And this brings me to my next point..

2) Communicating is hard

For me at least. I like to think of myself as the leading authority on social awkwardness, and my self confidence is pretty abysmal as well, so whenever I even come close to trying to talk to people in an online game, I can’t bring myself to do it. Even when people talk to me in a game, regardless of whether they are the nicest person on the planet, I just become an anxiety-ridden, nervous wreck, and either don’t respond, or just leave the game entirely. This has eventually evolved into an aversion to people in games in general, and hence an aversion to playing games with anyone other than my friends. A reasonably unhealthy reason not to play certain games perhaps, and hopefully something I can work on.

3) There are so many other games out there

When you combine the previous two reasons with this reason, not playing competitive games isn’t hard. There are a myriad of amazing games out there nowadays to play either on my own, or co-op with my friends. That way I can play without having to actively loosen up and try to have fun, because the fun comes naturally.

Bottom line is, with such a wide array of non-competitive games out there, finding something for me really isn’t that hard. Especially co-op games, which are some of the funnest games I’ve ever played in my life, at the moment I have been enjoying a lot of Dungeon of the Endless, and Rainbow Six Vegas 2. For when I’m on my own, I love to just hop onto Diablo and grind some loot, it never ceases to amaze me how many times I have been able to come back to it and still have a blast.

Not to say I don’t enjoy playing competitive games, in fact, I love to jam to some Battlefield or CS:GO when I have my buddies to have fun with and stop me from taking it too seriously. It’s just that with so many other equally amazing titles to pick from, games like Battlefield and CS:GO usually never see the light of day.

4) I am very self critical

By this I mean that I tend to focus too much on the negatives and the things that I do wrong when I play competitively, as opposed to things that I am actually doing right. This, no doubt, leads to a less satisfying experience. However, not only does it taint the experience as I am playing, but also when I am considering playing a game. Before I load it up I will have this moment where I think to myself “Hmmm, I haven’t played it in a while, what if I suck? I’ll probably suck, and then that will be sucky” and then I pick another game to play. So again, my inherent nature and attitude becomes a barrier between me and competitive gaming.

 

Well that’s enough from me, but I would love to hear about your own opinions and experiences. Do you enjoy playing competitive games? What is it about them that you do/don’t enjoy? Let me know in the comments below, any suggestions on how to deal with my issues with competitive gaming are welcome. Also if you enjoyed this post, be sure to give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful 🙂

Gaming as a tool against fatigue and stress

Have you ever been so tired and wrecked after a long day, or maybe even from nothing at all, but somehow when you start playing games all of your energy comes back out of nowhere? Or maybe when you stop playing games and you think you are okay but five seconds later you crash and pass out on your bed without even realising how sleepy you were? If you are like me, that’s a yes to both.

Throughout my whole life gaming has always been an amazing way to rest and recover from the trials and tribulations of the days activities, beyond being my first choice for enjoyment. Whether it was coming home from school, needing a break from study, or even just dealing with bad news, games have always been a great distractor, and an even better means of stress relief. As a kid I can remember staying up all night just playing Pokemon under my bed sheets and feeling totally fine, only to stop playing in the morning and immediately have a tidal wave to exhaustion just slam into me.

No doubt, this varies from person to person. People enjoy different things, some might relax by watching movies, hanging with friends, listening to music, the list goes on, but chances are you have your personal way of managing your fatigue when times get tough. This can change from time to time, sometimes you get sick of your usual hobbies for a while, it happens to all of us. Sometimes when I’m just not in the mood to play games, curling up in bed and watching Youtube is my go-to in order to relax.

That’s what it really comes down to, is enjoyment. If you enjoy doing something, chances are that when you get to do it you will feel so much better and stress-free and that’s part of what makes it awesome. On the flip side of the coin, if there is something you hate doing, it drains your energy that must faster, and it makes you tired and stressed. I know this probably sounds obvious, but if you have things in your life that you don’t enjoy doing, and surely there are some, keeping those to a minimum, and making the most out of the things you do enjoy is critical.

Are there games more suited to R&R though?

Again, it’s all personal preference, but it really depends on my mood and situation. Luckily, there are so many games out there that there is bound to be something to do in order to get my much needed hit of dopamine before the next energy consuming activity of the day. If I’m studying and only need a small break, usually I’ll hop on to Call of Duty and just play a few rounds. I find that the quick, 5 – 10 minute games can help make sure I don’t spend longer gaming than I should. Maybe I will hop onto Diablo and see if I can find a few cool pieces of loot. Whereas when I have more time up my sleeve, I can turn to games I know I would be able to just sit and play for hours, such as Skyrim or Minecraft.

But having breaks like this is essential I believe to living a healthy life. Especially with study and work etc. life is bound to get stressful from time to time, and rather than just dealing with it and pushing forward, the best thing to do sometimes is to just acknowledge that you need some time to recover, and taking that time to do something that helps to relieve that fatigue. This will allow to move into your next endeavor without that kind of weight on your shoulders bearing down on you. A little stress can actually be good, but large amounts of it for a long time can be very unhealthy, so keeping it under control is important. Also having huge amounts of stress just plain sucks. Certainly being a student and taking small breaks to game in between study has helped motivate me and and keep me studying without becoming overwhelmed.

Gaming can be a powerful tool to managing stress and fatigue, which let’s face it, usually come hand in hand, but just be careful not to procrastinate too much. As great as games are for relieving stress, they can be addictive, and you can have too much of a good thing, or else you will end up even more stressed than before.

So just be careful 🙂

But I’m just one person, I would love to know, do you have any go-to games when life wears you out? Are there any other ways that you find work wonders for your stress and fatigue? Let me know in the comments, and if you enjoyed this post, be sure to give it a like. Until next time, stay beautiful, and stress-free 🙂