It’s no secret that when you’re able to do a certain activity repeatedly and properly, you’re bound to get good at it. Habits are formed, muscle memory is established, and your experience (I’m talking about your experience as a person, not as a video game character) accumulates and allows you to make better decisions in the future.
The same principle applies to gaming. With enough practice as well as the equipment and innate talents that we have, most gamers can actually become really good at their game of choice. When they learn the rules and they are able to make quick decisions, that is when they can say that they’ve improved.
However, in the same manner, that athletes and bodybuilders need time to allow their body to recover and grow, so too, should gamers take some time off from playing in order to allow themselves to recover and improve. Like any well-oiled machine, when a person is subjected to constant tension, there’s something that’s bound to malfunction because of the increased rate at which wear and tear occurs.
So, how exactly does taking time off actually improve your gameplay?
A Change In Environment
Whether you’re training for a sports competition, rehearsing for a play, or training for an MMO tournament, one of your biggest enemies is going to be the monotony of training.
Burnout is a real danger in any scenario. By taking a break from video games, you’re going to have a break in the monotony of practice. This change in the environment also triggers a shift in mindset. This is explained further below. You may even consider taking some time to attend to other aspects of your life.
Whether it’s getting physical exercise or doing something out of the ordinary, like playing some of the best giant yard games, the change of environment is going to take you away from the stresses of competitive play and allow you to recenter yourself.
An Opportunity To Evaluate Your Tactics
Taking a break from gaming also allows you to analyze your approaches to a certain problem. This is, in fact, how I deal with most Dark Souls bosses. By being able to evaluate your tactics, you’re also going to be able to formulate a new approach. After all, video games are primarily about problem-solving and critical thinking. There could a hole in your strategy or an approach that you haven’t tried yet. Sometimes all we really need is a different perspective.
Frustration is a big drain on your performance. It hinders your ability to perceive and react promptly to situations in-game. Many professional gamers will taunt their opponents in order to throw them off their rhythm and focus, and games that are especially difficult tend to have the same effect on casual gamers. Emotions cause us to make rash decisions, not just in video games, but also in real life.
The Academic Side Of Gaming
It’s one thing to analyze your tactics and another to actively search for new information. When you’re stuck at a certain stage or if you’re unable to overcome a certain obstacle, sometimes the best way to go about it is to read guides on how to beat a particular problem. There are limits to our abilities for critical thinking and problem solving, and it’s during the times when we hit these limits that we need to have a different source for our solution. After all, there’s no point in pulling your hair out over a video game.
As you may have noticed, this guide doesn’t only apply to gaming scenarios, but also to life in general. There’s a lesson to be learned here, and it’s in being able to determine when to push yourself to your limits and when you need to take a step back in order to reorient yourself and your senses.