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Video Games As A Coping Method


Jazno

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do you play video games as a coping method, like steam or pc games ? I find myself doing these almost all day of everyday to take me away from life. you can go into detail on what games you play and whatnot if it helps.

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Hi Jazno,

 

     I also play PC games as a coping technique as for the pure joy of them as a hobby.  They are fun.  At age 60 I find myself playing SimCity4D but more as an expression of art and architecture than as a game per se.  I like some of the old games like Tetris too.  How about you?

 

Cordially,  Epictetus

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Hey Epictetus,

 

Sim City sounds fun, have you ever just played older games and enjoyed the music in them, some really good composing in many. Yes lots of breathtaking art in the games I agree. I like finding funky music from older and obscure video games to listen to. It really can cheer me up at times. I play pretty much any type of games on the PC. Beat Metro2033 about a month ago it was very scary and challenging. I do enjoy playing older games like the PS1 and some classic games rayman, and final fantasy. although I've never beat a final fantasy game they are too much for me to get into and finish. but very beautiful storylines.

 

Jazno

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Yeah, every single day I game for an ungodly amount of hours. Either that or I listen to music or watch a show or film. But I mostly play games. I think I may have an addiction but I love it, I love it as it allows me to escape life. Helps me forget I am who I am. I love it also as an artform, its more than just entertainment and escapism for me. 

I play a lot of different games on PC and PS4. I own hundreds of games and despite not finishing many of them I continue to buy more. Its ridiculous actually. 

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I really used to enjoy video games when I was younger, including text-based adventures like the old Infocom games, Final Fantasy and so on.   I don't play any video games these days because I'm worried I would never get anything else done!  My brother is addicted to World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs

 

My pdoc says video games are the depression medication of choice for young males.  

 

Video games have always been a form of escapism it seems. I had a friend who would play World of warcraft for days straight at time. For me I never did get into that game. I never liked the fact it required a payed membership.

Edited by Jazno
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I used to play quite a bit in my teens. Not as much these days. I think Netflix has become my new form of escapism. Game of Thrones, Vikings, Black Sails etc. I can watch for hours.

I find escapism can only help with depression a little though. Your issues don't disappear and the comedown can be heavier than before you left your life behind and entered a virtual one.

I find listening to relatable music helps - it's a form of escapism without truly detaching yourself from this world.

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I used to play Sims for continuous hours and consecutive days when I'd get depressed. It was a way of controlling events, I think.

 

I don't have a system that can run any of the games anymore -- except the very first one, which is almost too boring to be worth playing, to me -- so now I find myself watching Let's Plays of games I'm curious about on YouTube.

 

This is positive -- it makes me laugh, it gets me thinking creatively about game design and modern media, it's entertaining -- but it's also negative -- I have spent entire days watching Let's Plays and doing nothing else.

 

I've set a "Family Timer" on my Xbox so that I can only watch YouTube for two hours a day. If I extend that time, I have to enter a passcode to unlock it, and it makes me feel terribly guilty.. so I usually just watch my allotted two hours and then do a bit of housework or putter around the garden.

 

I do have games for the Xbox, but I have difficulty staying focused on them and experience a lot of negative feelings & thoughts whenever I sit down to play them -- so I hardly ever do.

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Hey I made an account because this is a topic I've thought a bit about on my own and wanted somewhere to write it down.

 

For me, video gaming was a major point of catharsis almost a decade back, when I first started feeling depressed. This was back before I even knew I was depressed and had a problematic home life and no friends. I always had my computer and the drowning sounds of the video games I played.

 

The reason why I had started to ponder this topic recently was the issue of video gaming anxiety. I'm not sure if any of you have experienced this but it's basically the feelings of anxiety start to swell up which prevent you from even playing a game. This can be either in the form of ladder anxiety in more competitive video games or in steam anxiety where you have 100s of games in your account yet feel like there is nothing to play. I had been having these feelings for quite some time now and only just started connecting the dots. My conclusion was that the anxiety was the result of some kind of cognitive dissonance associated with my gaming. On one hand, I've always felt I played games for fun and enjoyment. On the other hand, it was a major form of escapism during the worst eras of my depression and have all these negative connotation attached to it. The anxiety was the result of this question. Am I gaming actually because I enjoy it or am I just practicing escapism?

 

I'm actually in a high point emotionally in my life and was able to address this question. It seems that gaming for me for the past decade has been mostly though not exclusively a form of escapism rather than a hobby. That realization was rather troubling to me. I'm still dealing with this currently and am slowly recovering my interest but mostly I've taken a step away from playing games. I guess we'll see where this leads me in the next year or so.

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A great majority as to why I play video games so much is because it is a coping method of mine. There are some days where I don't really feel like playing the game, but I end up playing anyway, to escape from everything else. I can (and sometimes do) waste my whole day playing steam games, just because it helps me escape better than other things.

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Hey Epictetus,

 

Sim City sounds fun, have you ever just played older games and enjoyed the music in them, some really good composing in many. Yes lots of breathtaking art in the games I agree. I like finding funky music from older and obscure video games to listen to. It really can cheer me up at times. I play pretty much any type of games on the PC. Beat Metro2033 about a month ago it was very scary and challenging. I do enjoy playing older games like the PS1 and some classic games rayman, and final fantasy. although I've never beat a final fantasy game they are too much for me to get into and finish. but very beautiful storylines.

 

Jazno

 

I'm a pretty avid gamer, it definitely helps me cope with the depression but I've noticed that when I'm particularly low some games can be a bit overwhelming to deal with... but I noticed I get drawn toward more old school games when I'm like that. Charming visuals, funky retro tunes, it's a great way to relax for a few hours. Sounds like the kinda stuff you're talking about. That being said I just wanted to throw out a few games that I particularly enjoyed while I was down and out.

 

Thomas Was Alone (simple and charming puzzle game)

Hotline Miami 1 or 2 (challenging and violent but the music and old school visuals are fantastic)

Guacamelee! (2d beat em up with a good sense of humor/music)

OlliOlli 1 or 2 (2d skate game, great soundtrack)

Don't Starve (survival/base builder, challenging but charming)

Aqua Kitty: Milk Mine Defender DX (sort of like Galaga but utterly ridiculous, dig the tunes and visuals though)

 

there are some really great music and rhythm games out there but the few I have are Playstation only.

Edited by Dog
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I grew up playing video games, all the way back in the 80's.  I remember having an Atari, NES, SNES, N64, Nintendo Cube; now I have a Wii.  I hardly ever touch it though.  Mostly because I prefer PC games more so; but, also because I have been investing my free time in outside hobbies, to keep my more proactive and in shape.  Being inside too much causes a great deal of depression, due to the isolation, inactivity and the lack of sunlight.  I use to play WoW relentlessly with friends and family; but, I gave it up, because everyone quit!  ha ha  I play Diablo 3 sometimes with a cousin of mine and once in awhile I'll play Rise of Nations on Steam.

I miss playing RPGs with my friends when I was growing up; but, as an adult, your priorities change.  I can't even convince my closest friends to sit down for an all nighter anymore.  It's understandable though; they have their lives and their relationships to manage.  I am typically single; so, I tend to have a lot of time to myself.  I don't think I could handle being with someone that demanded my attention as much as most spouses do; but, perhaps one day I will find someone who I would feel comfortable enough with, to let in my little recharge zone, where I go to get away from everyone for awhile.

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Grew up playing Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation way back... Played World of Warcraft for a bit... Got hooked on it for a whole summer and I just decided to stop. 3 months and I was done. The games I do play now are mostly arcade like... I go back and play the Tony Hawk games every now and then. Same with GTA or Super Stardust on the PS4.

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I grew up with gaming aswell, but not necessarily as a coping mechanism. Due to my parralel universe taking up all my thought processes, gaming was an aid in bringing that universe close to myself. All the games I played were essentially overwritten by my own mind, and I ended up playing what my mind was seeing rather than what the actual game was... I remember finding silly little spots in arcade games that I could meddle around for hours in a spot that was meant to be passed over in 20 seconds or less, simply because it was an outlet to strengthen that universe in my mind...

 

Unfortunately I'm not that strongly connected with it all anymore, and I'm finding that enjoying games is becoming exceedingly difficult. What used to be me spending 9 hours a day playing a game, has turned into no greater than 10 hours a week.. Sometimes I get find myself enjoying one and can go for for a while, but the average is severely lacking in comparison to what it used to be... I spend all my time on a gaming community (Steam), which is unfortunate, because I have to turn down requests from a lot of people that want to play games with me, simply because I do not want to play them anymore..

 

I'm sure this is tied to depression aswell though. That's hit pretty hard on all fronts. 

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I think there more of a hobby then a coping mechanism,I use to love them when I was younger but get bored of them fast now,the game has to be high quilty and short for me to enjoy or be really difficult.I like games that have a old school feel to them,I have been playing alien isolation the game is very fun I feel on edge while the alien is tracking me it makes me so stressed out I forget my depression,I get burnt out on playing it to long.I feel like games are to long nowadays,I like games that have a acrade feel to them like fighting games or games where you get a high score and I love platforming games,I can,t really stand rpg anymore though they are to tedious and long

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I used to spend hours upon hours playing them. I've found recently that I'm not as interested in the escape as I once was. But I still maintain an account on an MMORPG and enjoy it for brief stretches at a time. Achievements in-game can feel as good as accomplishments in real life. I once was really excited to tell my wife, "hey, I learned to fish in the game!"

 

Right now I'm focusing on leveling up myself rather than my character.

 

At the end of the day, whatever works for you is good so long as it's not harmful (alcohol/drugs/self harm) and as long as the escape doesn't dominate your life. We all need to blow off steam but we also need to embrace the joy in and acknowledge the pain of life. Running away from life doesn't help you in the long run.

 

Peace and love

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Hi Jazno,

 

I've played video games since the SNES. I currently own an xbox 360. Not sure if depression has anything to do with things. I just like them, mostly. I've played through all kinds, but at the moment I'm playing through Skyrim. Multiplayer wise, my faves are Street Fighter and Battlefield. 

 

For all the gamers here, I recommend this documentary: https://vimeo.com/86920129  

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This might be a bit off-topic but for anyone who plays video games or watch videos of other people play video games, I highly recommend that you check out a PC game (or videos of it) called The Cat Lady.  The main character has depression and the game depicts the pain, loneliness and hopelessness of depression beautifully.  It really hits the mark in telling others what depression feels like.  The pace of the story is kind of slow but it is an amazing story, and the music is also beautiful. Just for the record, the game is intended for mature audience as there is blood, violence, and a LOT of dark themes, but if you're ok with that kind of stuff, you should definitely check it out.

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