Why Video Games Are My Pastime of Choice

Why Video Games Are My Pastime of Choice

They certainly take more focus than that TV.
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Video games, for me, have been the pastime of choice for my entire life. Ever since I was a little guy I have been glued to a screen of some type. I found the stories fascinating, the characters larger than life and the difficulty appealing. Here was another world (or worlds) I could get lost in and thoroughly enjoy myself. I may not be able to go on a wild quest of adventure with my companions in tow, but the person I played definitely could. Video games have done something for me that most other things in life could never do. Perhaps the most important thing out of it all: The games let me escape from the world around me completely for however short or long a period of time.

If I am stressed out, these games let me blow off steam in a way that I otherwise could not. They take my mental focus off what is causing me to panic and worry. I end up putting my entire thought process and focus onto playing the video game and trying to accomplish what it wants me to. Nothing else invades my mind and although I am completely absorbed by the game, my mind is at peace. Having only a singular thought in my mind and no others barging their way in is the closest I usually come to bliss.

When I am down, video games are there to help pick me back up. While I usually don't play games in a bad mood because I get angry quickly, it can definitely help blow off some steam. It's the singular thought process video games bring me coming around again to help level off my mood.

Hell, if I am in a good mood video games are even better. I can really dig deep into the story/game I am playing and enjoy it that much more. The same game I played unsuccessfully when I was in a irritable mood is now enjoyably successful.

One thing most people over look is that video games are increasing more social as technology develops. My favorite game is League of Legends. There are literally millions of people who play this game, and you have to communication and cooperate with everyone on your team to achieve victory. My friends and I are on Skype most of the time to achieve better communication. We chat about the game, how our days are going while waiting to play a game and share in the overall joys of the game together. Also, the social aspect helps lift people, including myself, out of bad moods. It's hard to stay grumpy when you have three or more people in a call on Skype trying to cheer you up.

So when you see your friend/child/spouse playing a video game, don't rag on them for it. It's not immature to find a positive way to relieve stress and the events of the day (except when playing to excess, of course). I'd much rather have my friend or child playing a video game than spending hour in front of the TV. Your brain has to be working harder at that game than droning through a TV series, right?

Cover Image Credit: unclebobs.com

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15 Things You Realize As Your Baby Brother Grows Up

No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother.
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Despite the fistfights and days of locking each other out of the house, a little brother is one of the biggest blessings you can receive. Most sisters can agree that they probably bossed their brothers around a lot when they were younger (and probably still do). Most sisters have also most likely forced their brothers to participate in many games that were only enjoyable for one party (baby dolls, house, dress up, etc.)

As a little brother grows up, you start to realize a lot of things as they become your lifelong best friend. Here are 15 of them:

1. He will outgrow you

Even though you were once able to beat him in a wrestling match, and have a fair game of tag, as you get older, he begins to pass you up in size and you realize it probably isn't in your best interest to pick a fight.

2. Teenage boy sass is a real thing

So many times, girls get a bad rep for the teenage phase, but let me tell you, teenage boys have just as much sass if not more than the average hormonal girl. But you also realize that you will get through it, and he is still your sweet brother somewhere deep, deep down.

3. He will go through a phase when he is too cool for you

Your whole life you have been used to your little brother looking up to you and wanting to be just like you and do all the things you do. This probably really annoyed you at some point too and I know I found the words "stop copying me" coming out of my mouth a lot. Don't wish it away, enjoy these times because there hits a point where he will want to do their own thing for a while.

4. He will begin to form his own opinions, and he is actually really smart

He still looks up to you, but there comes a time when he actually starts to contradict and challenge your opinions, and his arguments are surprisingly really good. You learn a lot from your little brother, so start listening to what they have to say sometimes.

5. No girl will ever be good enough for him

When he brings a girl home, you can't help but judge everything about her (no pressure) because to you, no girl will match up to his awesomeness. You know you are annoying, over-controlling, and overly judgmental, but you can't help it, he is your baby brother after all.

6. Regardless of how old or big he gets, if anyone messes with him, you will "beat them up"

I am not a fighter, but somehow anytime someone messes with my little brother, I get the ego of Muhammed Ali and believe that I can beat anyone up. Even now that he has outgrown me by about six inches and 50 pounds and is definitely a lot stronger than me, I still threaten to protect him because for some reason I feel like I can defend him better than he can himself. If anyone shoves him on the soccer field or says something mean to him at school, all of the sudden the big sister is the most intimidating and feisty little 5'4" girl there is out there.

7. He has your back

The once quiet and shy boy you outspoke as a child is not afraid to stand up for you. Even if he knows you're wrong, he is just as protective of you as you are of him and he will always be there for you whether you need a shoulder to cry on, you've had a fight with your friends and need someone to talk to, or a guy blows you off and you just need dairy queen and a movie night.

8. People will think he is your boyfriend and vice versa

As little kids, you were obviously the big sister, but now that he has outgrown you, hit puberty and matured, people mistake him as your boyfriend all the time. When you go to dinner and get the "you are such a cute couple" comment, you can't help but laugh.

9. All of his academic success is obviously all thanks to you

All the days you forced him to play "school" with you and tried to teach him everything you knew paid off because he actually knows what he is doing now. You're welcome.

10. Every year he turns another year older, you freak out because you remember how old you felt when you were his age, and it is not possible for him to be that old

No, no, no. He is little. He cannot drive just because he is 16. That is scary. [Only you were mature enough and ready to drive at 16.] There is no way that he is already 18 and can vote. You will never get used to the fact that he is growing up at the same pace as you are.

11. He is the one person who defies your theory that you are never wrong

He always has your best interests in mind, so if he disapproves of a guy, or questions a choice you are making, he is most likely right, just listen to him. Seriously, it will save you time in the future.

12. You will always worry about him

Yes, you are annoying and you know he can handle himself, but the thought of him ever getting hurt kills you. Every time he goes out or takes a risk, you worry about him. However, you also know and trust that he is smart and makes good choices, and if he ever doesn't, you will always be here to save the day, duh!

13. You are his biggest fan

And you are absolutely obnoxious at sporting games and other events. You are the first person to yell at the referee when he gets fouled and the loudest person screaming when he scores a goal. You also find yourself bragging about him to your friends because you are just so proud, and you taught him everything he knows (duh again).

14. He is your best friend

You can tell him anything and he can tell you anything. You guys have a pact and he won't tell your secrets. He's your person, and you have come to find out that he actually gives great advice when you give him the chance to talk.

15. No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother

No matter how old my brother gets, we still say "I love you" every night and he will always be my little baby brother who I watch over and protect, always. I know I have a lifelong best friend who I can lean on during hard times, and celebrate with when the times are good. Bless up.

Special shoutout to my baby brother, Luke, for teaching me so much about myself and always being there for me.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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News Flash: You Can't Invalidate My Love For Something Because You Don't Understand It

Find what makes your soul shine brighter than the golden sun.

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As the passionate, blue-eyed girl expresses her love for her favorite band, a crude classmate turns around and blurts out "nobody cares about your obsession." Her pale skin turns red as her eyes fill up with tears. The confidence she once had about expressing her love for her favorite band has crumbled, all because of one ignorant classmate.

Unfortunately, people judge others and make them feel bad about themselves when they are openly passionate about something they love. People are so quick to judge something when they lack understanding of it.

Instead of opening their minds, they open their mouths and name-call. They throw around the words "obsessed," "not normal" and "weird," without thinking about the potential harm they may cause.

I am far too familiar with the judging and the name-calling.

I am very passionate and enthusiastic about the person I idolize... In the eyes of some, I may be a bit too passionate. However, I don't believe it is anything I should be ashamed of. Granted, it may get annoying seeing the same caption that blurts out "I love him" several times a month, but where is the harm? There is none.

It's OK to get lost in what you love in. Sometimes, it's the only thing that helps you get through the rough patches in your life.

For instance, my favorite movie is what got me through my freshman year of high school — when I had no confidence and no friends. When I first watched the movie, I felt as if sunbeams wrapped around my soul and whispered words of reassurance into my ears. To this day, whenever I watch that movie, I still feel the warmth and comfort.

Watching videos of my idol is sometimes the only thing that can make my anxiety go away. Even such a small act of looking at his picture can make fill my cloudy days with sunshine.

It's completely understandable that some people don't get it and might find it strange, but everyone has something that makes their soul light up.

Respect what people love and don't ever make them feel bad about it. Encourage them instead.

God knows what people think of my love for my idol, but I have learned to not care — even though I am extremely sensitive.

So, get lost in what you love. Let it consume you. Passionately express your love for everything that makes you happy and pay no mind to what others think. Allow yourself to be happy. Take pride in the things you love. There is no harm in doing so.

Find what makes your soul shine brighter than the golden sun.

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