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Video Games: The Alternate Stress Reliever

by on April 23, 2013  

Stress can be a real pain. Stress is something that is inescapable and something that everyone must deal with every day of our lives. In the midst of everything that pushes our buttons, there are that many more products and theories that all claim to be stress relievers, most of which don’t work all too well. Yet the most underestimated and misunderstood way to relieve stress comes in the form of doing what many people do today, playing their favorite video games.

Most stress that people experience every day comes from work, family, and friends that we interact with every day of our lives. This can take a steep mental and physical toll on us depending on the amount of stress we go through each day. In most extreme cases, an overabundance of any kind of stress can lead to dire medical issues and even death. To help relieve this, people look for distractions to help with combating the dangers of stress. In modern times, video games have become a great distraction for some who just want to get away from reality for a moment and recuperate while being entertained.

Most games that are great stress relievers are titles that draw in players with their simplistic mechanics and straight forward objectives. Life itself is already complicated as it is and taking on a task that is just as complicated, if not more so, can do more harm than good. Games like Professor Layton and Brain Age are titles that can allow anyone to play a game and relax at the same time. While such games can still provide a level of challenge and give anyone’s brain a good workout, their mechanics and overall task are not complex enough to dramatically increase someone’s stress level. Instead the different puzzles and problems from those games can have players focus solely on one task repetitively and shut out everything else. For some this can be relaxing as the need to multitask becomes unimportant for a brief time, making things much more simple and straightforward.

Outside of the kinds of games that help ease stress, the method in which games are played can also be a major contributing factor. In some studies conducted about the relation of gaming and stress, including some from Colorado State University, the time and place where people play their video games can be significant component to reducing stress. Having a portable gaming system on the go can be a great help to anyone, especially those who travel a lot or work most of the day. Playing games on a Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita during lunch time or a break can provide a great quick distraction. However, this isn’t solely limited to portable devices, as gaming at home can still be just as effective through traditional means. Games that are played on a joystick or controller on a home console can also be relaxing just as much as a handheld game device. One exception though is games played using motion controls, where more physical activity is required to participate. When playing on a controller, the rest of the body outside of one’s hands and eyes is in a state of rest, allowing for one’s body to relax while playing.

Stress is what every person must deal with when going about their daily routine. Stress from anything can be dealt with in a variety of different ways, with some ways being more effective than others. Through playing various video games, anyone can relax while being entertained by unique stories and fun gameplay. Regardless of the way we play or what kinds of games we may play, gaming is the modern day form of entertainment that briefly distracts us from our harsh reality that always stresses us out. While misunderstood by some who believe they cause more harm than good, video games are a really great alternative to help moderate and relieve the stress we face in our lives.

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