Many people play video games, whether it be causally, competitively or in between. Persons play on the phone, on the console and on their computers. But why are video games played so much. Here is my take on the question “Do video games relieve stress?
What is Stress?
Stress is according to the dictionary “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances”. This means that any situation which would demand more of us than normal at a rate that we may be unable to handle. Keep in mind a lot of things can factor into stress, according to WebMD these are a few.
- Working long hours
- Having unclear expectations in work and life and other situations
- Being insecure
- Discrimination or harassment
- Chronic illness
- Low self-esteem
- Traumatic event
Most of these that would have any connection to gaming would be that of either depression, anxiety, anger, grief, guilt and low self-esteem. This can even relate to have unclear expectation in life. Do you believe gaming can help these I just mentioned?
How does Video Gaming help Certain Stress Factors?
I am no expert on stress, but video games make people comfortable and open them up to persons just like them, with online play, tournaments, etc. Therefore video games can create and avenue for persons with certain emotional problems to thrive and reduce their depression, anxiety and so on. Hobbies and having something to do helps emotional turmoil, whether it be reading, writing, watching television or playing video games. Right of the bat we can see ways that video games may be able to reduce stress in some way.
Video Games Help Past time
Have you ever been sitting on a plane, train, bus or even a doctor’s office and have just been bored? Most persons may answer yes. Most of us would actually whip out or phones and either go on social media, read an e book or play games. Waiting for an appointment or to get to your destination can not only be boring but can also be stressful, especially whether persons who are highly impatient. The fact that you can have something to do like play video games can help calm you down and reduce stress levels.
Our perception of time is directly liked to how engrossed we are in an activity, therefore if there is no activity to be engrossed in then time may seem to be passing slowly, lengthening the day and increasing the chance of impatience and stress. We can say anything we do can help us pastime. But we more likely than not do things that we enjoy, so if we decide to play a game it is most likely because we enjoy it, so in essence we can say it does help us relieve stress as a form of entertainment
Some persons believe that video games are bad and can be addictive, although there have been cases of video game addiction, this does not definitively conclude that video games as bad, remember human beings can become addicted to almost anything, to the point where we do not even have to enjoy it, it has just become so engraved in our being. I realize that I am divulging a bit, but this is just to reiterate that everything has a negative side and this does not eliminate the positives it can have.
Brain Teasers or Educational Games
Educational games are played quite a lot, I even dabble in this genre. Most persons give their kids educational games to play as it is a fun way of learning. But why do you think that is? Because learning is reduced in a stressful environment. Therefore, bringing a game into the mix makes the environment less stressful and helps maintain the attention of the child would then increase the likelihood of learning and maybe even retaining information.
Now onto adults, we play many brain-teaser games and that to keep us on our toes and keep our brain sharp and while this may not be directly correlated to stress, it certainly does not contribute to it. Maybe in a scenario where a certain puzzle cannot be solved, one’s stress levels may increase, however I am nitpicking here. Everyone understands at different levels and persons performing different puzzles or brain teasers would at some point, understand what level they are at and gradually progress through the difficulty to reduce the likelihood of not being able to solve a puzzle at all.
Game Difficulty and its Connection to Stress
When I think of this, I really think of hardcore gamers and some really difficult games. At the top of my head I can think of Dark Souls, which is synonymous with the phrase extremely difficult. Playing this game almost guarantees you character will be dying every 5 – 10 minutes. Why do I bring this up, simple, can you imagine playing a game and constantly dying, this is most like going to make you angry. In the headings brain teasers or educational games I spoke about how when one maybe unable to solve for a puzzle the maybe become stressed, this is no different. People will more often than not become very stressed an irritated and the game continuously saying “Game over”. It almost seems like the creators of the game intended to stress persons out.
With that being said a lot of persons like a challenge and we must remember we must learn to manage stress, stress cannot be completely avoided and our ability to manage stressful situations would help us be healthier. Therefore, these scenarios can be used as a teaching moment in how to handle stress, however not all of us may feel this way and some may forever be frustrated.
Takeaways – How Video Games Relieve Stress
- Video games help pastime, especially in situations where we have long waiting periods
- Video games, especially educational one’s, give a person a chance to learn and experience in a fun less stressful way
- Video games can create stressful situations, but can also expose us to situations that help us manage stress
- Having hobbies, whether it be playing video games, can help emotional problems which can lead to stress
Hope this article helps, look forward to everyone’s feedback