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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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."
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Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me", but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is; to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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10 Things You Need To Know If Your Parents Are Divorced, Speaking From Experience

Divorce is just another trial in life that test your patience, meekness, and strength.
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Before you read any further, you need to know that I speak from my own experience. Divorce is a toxic, devastating action that changes everyone’s life.

There is no way for me to know exactly what you are going through, make your own judgments about this article. This is not a list of if you do this, then you will get this exact result. Divorce makes you grow as a person and with growth comes trial and error.

There are many different scenarios and circumstances that occur because of divorce, and my circumstance is most likely different from yours. I wanted to share my point of view because some of these ideas have taken me years to be OK with and to learn.

I want you to know that divorce makes us feel emotions that we have never felt. It’s uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and it makes you question everything in life. Here are 10 things that I believe you need to grasp in order to heal:

1. You Don’t Have To Continue Your Relationship With Toxic Parents

Maybe no one has ever told you this before, but hear me out. This is not an excuse for you to give up on your parents. If one or both of your parents is mentally, physically, or verbally abusive it is OK to allow separation. With that being said, I don’t think you should separate yourself forever. For me, I would separate myself for a time period and then when I recovered and felt strong enough, I would nurture the relationship. This was on-going for several years and took a ton of forgiveness. Do not just simply give up after one of your parents makes a mistake, but I am a firm believer that once you have done everything in your power to make things right, then you can love them from a distance.

2. But You Have To Respect Both Parents

Whatever your circumstance is, you still need respect both parents. This is something my wonderful mom taught me. I have a very kind personality, but it would have been easy for me to raise my voice at my dad. It would have been easy to hate him. It would have been even easier for me to tell everyone around me just what a terrible father he was, but none of that would have been right. I had to learn to deal with the pain, without taking it out on the one that caused it. I still said yes sir. I still prayed for him. I still told him ‘Happy Father’s Day’ even when I didn’t feel like it. And today, when I have to see him at family events, I don’t stand in the corner reminding myself of negative things about him. I say hi when he speaks, knowing that I have to make an effort to be respectful. I have learned that even if I don’t like someone, it doesn’t give me an excuse to be rude and disrespectful.

3. You Need To Let Go Of The Hate And The Blame

I have learned that this is not the easiest thing in the world. If I could give you one piece of single advice that will make all of the hate and the resentment go away: Pray for them. It works every time. If you don’t pray or don’t know who Jesus is, then I have no clue how to tell you to heal. I wouldn’t have made it without Jesus, so that’s what you need. You need a whole lot of Jesus if you want to make it through something as devastating as divorce. When I was finally ready to let go of the blame and the anger, I started asking Jesus to let me see the person that hurt me as He would see them. Time, prayer, and the removal of pride allowed me to let go of the things that held me in bondage.

4. Divorce Never Goes Away

Surprise! This is the thing I hate most about divorce. My parents got divorced almost 10 years ago and we still have to deal with the rippling effect of divorce. You are reminded of your parents divorce during major events in life, such as graduations, birthday parties, weddings, birth of children, and so much more. That’s why it is so important to heal now, rather than later. Divorce will always be around, so you need to heal what’s broken in order to experience freedom in your life now. If you don’t heal now, then these events that are made to be special will always reopen the wounds from divorce and make these major events dreadful.

5. If Possible, You Need To Have A Relationship With Both Parents

I have watched too many kids give up on their parents after ONE mistake. I will never understand this. If people gave up on me after one mistake, then I wouldn’t have anyone in my corner. When your parents start making a cycle of toxic choices, it is then that I believe it’s OK to love them from a distance. However, if you are not speaking to your parent because of something they did ten years ago or because of whispers of lies from the other parent, then you my friend, are in the wrong. I would give anything to have a healthy relationship with both parents.

6. Remember That You Are Still The Child, No Matter What

I believe this is something that you can remind your parents. It doesn't matter if you are 30 or 15, you are still the child. Pick and choose what you want to carry, because you weren’t meant to carry the weight of your parent’s choices. You still have to be respectful, but if you feel the need to vent and tell your parents everything you are feeling then it’s OK. You do not have to have it all together just because you are an adult and you are supposed to be mature. Divorce affects a 30-year-old just as much as it affects a 15-year-old.

7. You Don’t Have To Feel Guilty For Your Pain

I remember that I used to feel guilty for acting that way I did. I would cry multiple times and I always felt like I wasn’t being strong enough. I would look at other kids that had divorced parents and it looked as if the divorce had no effect on them. From the outside, they always made divorce seem so normal, like it didn’t hurt. I started to feel guilty for carrying around the pain of divorce. I thought maybe I was being dramatic and it wasn't supposed to hurt that badly. I felt weak, and then guilty for feeling weak. I can now stand here and tell you that yes, divorce is literally the worse thing I have gone through. So, if you feel that way, it’s normal. Don’t feel guilty for your pain. It does not make you weak.

8. It Is Not Your Fault

Cry, yell, rant, do whatever you have to do, but do not ever feel like the divorce is your fault! The truth is it’s actually the opposite. Your parents didn’t get a divorce because of you, but they did stay together because of you. If your parents wanted to get a divorce because you were the one causing issues then they would not divorce their spouse. They would find a way to divorce you and that is unlikely.

9. It’s OK To Be Angry, Hurt, Confused, etc. But Don’t Stay There

If your anger keeps you from living your life, then that is not OK. It’s OK to not be OK, but do not stay there. I can’t give an exact time period of how long you should grieve, because everyone takes different amounts of time to heal. You have to know when it is time for you to move on.

10. At The End Of The Day, They Are Your Parents

As I said in the beginning I am speaking from my own experience. You have been given your own judgements and emotions, so do what you think is best. In doing so, the worse thing you could do during a divorce is to forget your standards. The scary thing about divorce is that it somehow opens the door for us to throw our moral compass out the window. Don’t get caught up in the

Cover Image Credit: EveryPixel

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