Heroes, shes and hes in distress, magic, and going head-to-head with Tony Hawk himself all from the comfort of an ergonomic reclining gaming chair? Sign me up.
Whether it’s having a competitive personality, escapism, or generating income people play video games for many different reasons. But we get too emotionally invested in winning and levelling up when returning from that escape affects us personally. Whether it be anger when losing, repeatedly being insulted online, or titles that tug at our emotional heartstrings like Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, it’s hard not to become so immersed.
“Becoming immersed in the world of a video game can be an intensely rewarding experience. But for some gamers, it can also lead to emotional trauma, which can be difficult to process without help. Fortunately, there are many options for those who need support,” said Jazmin Murphy in an article titled, Tools for Readers.
Murphy shared some tips for gamers on what you can do to keep your emotions regulated while still enjoying what the game has to offer you.
Seek out supportive channels on platforms like YouTube, Discord, or Twitch where gamers discuss specific games or create video essays that open up a safe space for others to share their feelings.
Join a gaming community which encourages group engagement both online and at in-person events.
If you belong to an underrepresented group in gaming, look for organizations that support your specific community. For instance, Can I Play That?, Black Girl Gamers, and Gay Gaming Professionals.
wikiHow shared other methods you can use to help keep your cool while gaming:
Put down your controller. You don’t want to break your video game controller or something else in the room, so when you first notice you are feeling angry it is a good idea to put your controller down.
Recognize physical symptoms of anger. You might show signs of anger in your body, even before you realize that you are feeling angry or upset. Pay attention to how you are feeling physically. You might be headed toward an emotional reaction if you experience symptoms such as tense muscles and clenched jaw, headache or stomachache, increased heart rate, sudden sweating or shaking, or a dizzy feeling.
Take a break. If you have become angry, hurt, or frustrated, you should take a break from playing the game. Distract yourself from the aspect of the game that made you react by doing something else for a little while. The next time you need a distraction from your frustration you can call up a friend, make a meal or snack, or clean your room.
Go outside. Getting a change of scenery by going outside is a great way to calm yourself down in a hurry. To keep recurring emotions under control, try to balance your video game time with some daily time outdoors.
Remember why you play video games. You probably play video games because you enjoy playing. But if playing video games is causing you to become too emotionally immersed in them, then you might not be enjoying yourself as much as you used to. Think about taking on a new hobby to replace gaming for a while.