When we think of relaxation, we think of warm baths, candlelit evenings and deep tissue massages in the baking sun. Sadly, though, our day-to-day lives don’t allow for such luxuries.
We’re busy people, with jobs, family, friends and lives of our own to deal with. Sure, we might get an evening to ourselves every now and then, but day to day? We’re left to squeeze in our moments of relaxation where we can.
For lots of us, those little moments are filled with books, our favourite TV shows, podcasts and music – but what about gaming?
Video games have exploded in popularity over the last decade, moving beyond the geeky, hardcore image it once had and opening up to welcome a new breed of ‘casual’ gamer. Specifically, casual gamers are those of us without the time to settle in for an epic 60+ hour adventure in front of our televisions, but instead have a few minutes here and there to dip into a game.
But aren’t video games stressful? We’ve all heard about ‘rage quitting’ and doubtlessly had our own experiences playing video games, so why should you play them to relax? Here are a few huge reasons:
The science backs it up
If you’ve only been paying half attention to the common narrative around video games, you’ll likely have heard that they’re violent, corrupting and a bad influence on just about anyone that picks them up. But is that the case?
Well, scientists have studied the effect of video games for decades and thousands of papers have been published in peer-reviewed journals over that time. The overwhelming conclusion? Video games are actually more likely to relax you than make you violent.
According to Very Well Mind, video game studies have found that not only do the vast majority of games reduce stress levels but that they help you develop better-coping methods for stress by introducing small elements of it in a controlled environment.
Video games have changed
One of the most positive changes in the video game industry has been the birth of new types of gaming experience. Rather than the tired old shoot-and-punch experience, the medium of video games is now being used to present experiences which differ greatly from the ultra-competitive world of ‘hardcore’ video games.
Smartphones and tablets have helped inspire whole new genres of video games like farm and zoo sim games, garden games, aquarium games and hundreds of innovative, touchscreen-led puzzle games. Many of these games types are explicitly designed to relax and it’s meant that now, more than ever before, there’s a video game experience for everyone – a fact which has ensured that casual mobile games now command 51% of the overall market.
They’re ready when you are
Let’s face it, modern life can be pretty hectic. We’re always dealing with something, which means that the time we get to relax is often dotted around throughout the day. Maybe it’s 15 minutes during your lunch break, 20 minutes while your dinner cooks or even an hour or so when you’re on a teleconference call (we won’t tell, promise!)
It makes finding a relaxing distraction difficult, which is why we often turn to our smartphones to plug the gap with (often very stressful) social media. Luckily though, your smartphone is the new frontier of gaming, with huge name titles coming regularly to smart devices alongside smaller, independent games.
Simply fire up your app store and get searching! Amazing, relaxing video game experiences are just a few taps away.
“Fortnite Battle Royale,” everyone’s new favorite game
Fortnite Battle Royale” offers a fresh take on a multiplayer survival game; the third person perspective and the 100 player destructible battleground allows you to harvest material and build forts while fighting to be the last player or squad standing.
The battle royale game mode is free to play on PC, PlayStation Network, and Xbox live. It has an expanding base of players and according to Epic Games, “Fortnite Free V Bucks” has reached a recent peak of 3.4 million users concurrently playing the game.
Eric Williamson, lead system designer for “Fortnite”, told Daily Express, a tabloid newspaper in the U.K., “We’re really excited to announce we are at 40 million players.