The Point - Gaming Through Your Stress

Danny explores the times we play games to escape our work and life stress, and wonders how often do we do it? Also he shaves himself.

Discussion

178 comments
Wensea10
Wensea10

Honestly, though I casually play video games, I can say that playing video games easily relieves stress.

prokiller7896
prokiller7896

The truth. has been spoken. 
This being said it isn't an excuse to play titanfall for 5 hours instead of studying for exams.... *Guilty*

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

Just catching up on this one now.  Don't know how I missed it.  Outstanding and thought provoking as always.  I found myself remembering all the times in my own life when I looked to games as a way to take my mind away from whatever real world stuff was in my face.  Now I work a stressful job and have small children and I game for an hour or two 5 nights a week.  Definitely a coping mechanism.  When I feel like I can't make any traction in the office and I'm just on an endless treadmill at home, the ability to fire up a game and accomplish something, to accomplish ANYTHING feels great.  In a world where so often the answer isn't clear, gaming offers a clear path to success.  To be the hero with no caveats.  Its the only way I can put my mind on a shelf and recharge.


Thanks for posting this and keep 'em coming, Danny.

rad8045
rad8045

That is why I love game like GTA, after a long day at work, or a busy morning down the street working your way through crowds of people you just feel fed up of everything so you jump into a fantasy world and just cause ultimate mayhem for a couple of hours.

CBN16
CBN16

I find it funny that they played Dark Souls footage. DS does the opposite of relieving stress hahaha

jesterofbass
jesterofbass

I had extensive hernia surgery the week Bioshock Infinite came out. I remember Booker, Elizabeth, and copious amounts of Percocet for a week and a half. Beat it twice, including 1999 mode, and I'm an avid gamer but I'm not the "hardcore mode" type.

It was the only game I ever 100% cleared (All 50 achievements) and to this day it's one of my all-time favorites.

That game kept me sane.


Fantastic show, Danny.

smokeless_0225
smokeless_0225

I am about the same way just on a much smaller level. I am a school teacher. I am married and have 2 young children (one more on the way) so I don't get much time in my life right now for video games. However I do (in a weird kind of way) force myself to head downstairs to my PS3/PS4 about 2-3 nights a week. Even though I'm downstairs and away from the rest of my sleeping family, I still put my noise-canceling headphones on so I can connect with other people online. I usually end up just playing CoD, BF, or Diablo 3 for a few hours but I am totally convinced that this is a very real form of therapy for me.

For just a few hours, I can drown out all of life's troubles around me, whatever they may be, and just have fun. For just that short moment, nobody in my family is sick, there are no financial problems, nobody lost their job, nobody got deployed, there isn't even anybody at work who is angry at me. I can just let go and not care about the consequences of my "digital actions" for just a few hours. My wife has seen me do this a few times and it's funny when you think about it because I may even get mad that I died on CoD or argue with some angry 12-year old on Diablo....but to me....it's still crazy fun!


Once again, GREAT article Danny!

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

Trailers are no indication for the quality of the final product - neither in games nor in movies. Nevertheless trailers are entertaining and we're often happy to watch them. Some people miss the point that pleasant anticipation is a really strong motive and often a good thing in its own. Games like Star Citizen rely on that and I don't really feel cheated. I mean, I have a good time right now just to read about games or watch trailers about them. The dream is often better than reality like everywhere else in the world and we shouldn't just analyze everything to the bottom without even enjoying it a bit for itself.. ;)

amdreallyfast
amdreallyfast

Watching this video a week late, but it is very relevant.  

As for me, I'm not the kind of person to put down my troubles and distract myself for a spell.  Games, books, TV shows (Justice League, Avatar, Start Trek NG, etc.), and movies have a mental overhead for me to start.  In fact, all activities require some mental overhead for me to start.  It is easier for me to steadily drill my way through my trials and difficulties than to start something new.  Occasionally I'll hit a wall and accept that I can do nothing more, and then food, a break, and sleep are a welcome respite, but usually I'll keep drilling through stressful issues.

I know other people who would do this though.  Sometimes they just don't know how to deal with their stress and have to throw it off for a time, go shoot/command/explore/build/read, and then come back.

As usual, you're in my head, Danny.  Keep it up!

HuSSaR83
HuSSaR83

I remember playing Dune strategy game during one summer when I was a kid. My room was so sunny and hot I actually felt like in the game lol which was in desert setting. Right now I probably wouldn't play it in those conditions without  proper AC but back then I was like in different world and I loved it :) Wish I still had this enthusiasm about games like back in days ohh well

Nevsek
Nevsek

For me it is World of Warcraft still.  My brother killed himself in 2008, while I was away in the military.  Playing WoW was the primary way we interacted for the last few years.  Even now with all the game changes, I still play because when I'm in that world I can reconnect with him, and feel like he's still around.

genesarereal
genesarereal

For me gaming has always been a form of entertainment  especially playing with mates but its also a way of forgetting about the worlds problems too especially when you have a chronic illness that never leaves your mind. While your immersed in that game you forget about it for few hours at least. :)

UltimateBastard
UltimateBastard

Just wondering Danny. Was getting the DUP down to a manageable 0% and then taking the fight down south a subtle reference to our own little island?

loafofgame
loafofgame

While I do not doubt the healing power of entertainment like films, music and videogames it also makes me wonder: isn't this need to distract hindering videogames in developing towards also (I can't stress this 'also' enough; I do not mean 'solely') tackling more complex issues that pertain to real life, arguably making it a more meaningful and respectable art form in the process? Is this desire to escape part of the reason why so many people react negatively when games are related to social and cultural phenomenons, like gender, sexuality, race, politics and religion? Does it explain the tendency to claim that videogames aren't based on and shouldn't be compared to reality, when in fact they are very much based on desires, assumptions and convictions that are rooted in reality?

PhilipO45
PhilipO45

@dannyodwyer


 Thanks again for another great video about gaming with real world views!. (unlike the countless previews and info from all gaming sites)


 My deal:


 Been gaming since Pong(arcades) and have a 10yr old special needs son, wife of 15yrs, job, and still watch over my son most of every day for 10+ years.


 Nothing relieves stress like my 2hr gaming window i have at night when they both sleep. Nothing.


 Well one thing did, when wife's 'girlfriend' came over for a threesome 2 years ago, but that never continued. :(


 Thankfully i still have my gaming to always get me by, ..along with those nasty/good memories :)

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

Danny, once again spot on.  And we do do this young.  As a dad of a young son (only seven) who himself is getting into gaming, I see him doing it.  Sometimes he'll play, laughing, talking, saying "Daddy come see."  Other times, he'll just get quiet, with this set to his jaw.  The minute I see that I know something is up, and it's time for one of those arm around the shoulder talks.   Nothing makes you know you've been doing something your whole life like seeing your kid do the same thing so young.

Brando008
Brando008

Wow, this video really hit home. Thanks for another great episode Danny! I love how video games can incorporate many aspects of film, music, and narrative to form an incredible experience, with the gamer in control.

Johny_47
Johny_47

Since I've been into cars and driving a lot I've kind of lost touch with games. I still have a look around on the internet about new things coming out like oculus rift and so on but to me music is more like this for me than games. 


I felt like this a bit though a long time ago... f**k, I'm making myself feel old =P

angeloti83
angeloti83

Great video Danny! and yes,that´s the way many players feel about gaming, lncluding me. I can play a game as a scapegoat sometimes and it really works.

XCyberForceX
XCyberForceX

So basically this is all about escapism.  Which is different per person.  Some people play games, others read books, others exercise to take their mind off things.

Nothing entirely new in this.  Anything that can help reduce the stress and helps us cope (within moral reason of-course) applies.

fractalbelfast
fractalbelfast

Hi Danny lovin' your Norn Iron reference. At last a game that isn't afraid to tackle the big issues. Love your stuff, keep up the good work!

Hellequin85
Hellequin85

As someone currently (and for the past 6 months) living on a mates sofa, jobless (for the last 3 months), having no luck finding a new job, recently single and generally pretty down I currently play games to escape, cut all ties with the world and disappear to another country or world. Much like I want to real life but know that I can't.

Mojira7
Mojira7

Wonderful video. And I love that it has generated a lot of interesting personal comments that show how different we are as gamers and what games do for us, 

I also admire how brave Danny is, even in past videos he has done, for exposing how human he can be, how human all of us are, behind what we may sometimes portray ourselves to be in the internet.

Anarchy023
Anarchy023

I remember when I was in primary school, my mom picked me up early to tell me that my, you could call him my mentor, died and of course I was really sad. Then through the tears I just went to my computer put on Warcraft 3 and played that game for literally like 10 hours or so until I had to go to bed... The only time I still felt sad after that was actually thinking about playing Warcraft that day. Like I locked all the sadness into that one session of gaming. 

Aryck1095
Aryck1095

This video really connected with me, Danny; you really hit the nail on the head with this one.

santinegrete
santinegrete

When I had days where I wanted to rip my head boss and play footbal with it I just put a God of War or Manhunt game on the PS, and it washes my rage all the way.

santinegrete
santinegrete

My psychologist once told me I play games to escape. I didn't like that word she used, it sounded more like an abstraction of reality and an assumption of her that I can't deal with reality. I always tought she saw me on a negative light or way because I just don't trust those kind of professionals (regardless of gender). I prefered the word "hobbie" or "time waster", but now I kinda get what she meants. Wish I could ask her, I stopped going to her simply because I hate psychologists and my parents asked me to go.


I hope someone gets the impression I composed myself, I moved from home but I still have a good relationship with mom, dad, bros and sis.


Thanks for another eye opening video, Danny.

Fandango_Letho
Fandango_Letho

Thanks, Danny. Thanks for being such an awesome journalist, an awesome gamer and especially and awesome human being. The Point is my favorite show on GameSpot and before that, it was Escape from Mount Stupid. Awesome work, Danny.


As for me, it was God of War 2. It helped me grow the balls to end an abusive relationship and learn to respect myself a lot more. I probably beat the game 10 times since then.

karan
karan

After watching your videos i really have to type something to just inform you that you are doing a wonderful job. I can really relate to your videos and i am sure many others can too. I guess i just wanted to say thank you. You are doing a great job :)

wivrlspaudn
wivrlspaudn

This video couldn't be more true and thought of this once myself ages ago.

While obviously I game for fun, it is amazing how they make someone just chill and forget for a while.

StephenSays
StephenSays

Great great article.  Good work.  Video games are like therapy.  

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

i kinda agree, i can farm for 4 fucking hours in dark souls 2 (same with demon's souls and dark souls 1) 


but the mundane chores... not so much 


also my GF broke with me around when dark souls 2 came out 

i gotta say, i played for 17 hours stright no drinking/eating/pissing 

and that was the best experince ever 


video games are a way of life, but it's going to cripple me in the future 

DamageIncM
DamageIncM

It's not that videogames really dragged me through hard times or anything (though, maybe sometimes or subconsciously), music is more important to me in that aspect. But videogames are great for me to go on an adventure or be creative, or play a good story, or simply a good game actually scoring points and so on, having good fun.

However, videogames can also be very inspiring if you can't find it anywhere else. Whether it's a creative game or something that has a good story or has some kind of point to it, or perhaps some games just have great music in it as well.

To me, videogames sit right next to films and music, and each has its own purpose at different times.

The-Neon-Seal
The-Neon-Seal

Having Aspergers, the world in general is a pretty messed up, stupid and nonsensical place for me. Even if I am not all that busy it can get me stressed or just generally upset me -plus there is the issue of dealing with my own condition, day in, day out, for every moment of my life...


I write stories for the same reason I play games. That reason is to escape. It is theropy.

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

Keep making these episodes, it's nice that you are genuine in your approach and willing to touch on these subjects.

I think you've pretty much nailed it this episode.  I find myself wandering around Skyrim for hours as an escape and it helps.

Anyway, excellent job yet once again!

Earl-of-Death
Earl-of-Death

@CBN16 For me sometimes Dark souls does relieve stress. When I beat a boss or get through a tough area with minimal deaths it feels good, however, when sources of stress that are outside the game arise my gameplay suffers. When that happens I just call it a night. It's funny how it works.

_Roo_
_Roo_

@LordCrash88 Got caught by the auto episode switch.  Wish they would fix that crap. 

50_Ft_Kingie
50_Ft_Kingie

@UltimateBastard Hah I don't know how I missed the DUP link. Something tells me Danny is more of a moderate kinda dude though :).

50_Ft_Kingie
50_Ft_Kingie

@PhilipO45 I would say the threesome reference was unnecessary but I'd probably boast about it at every opportunity as well hehe.

PhilipO45
PhilipO45

@olddadgamer  I hear ya, same with my 10yr old son, except that i have to constantly add in 2-3 mods per week for minecraft, as a reward for the school week.


He now has 35 mods total..but that's ok, as were both gamers, and i know how much he need to 'escape' into the VR world, know as gaming :)

loafofgame
loafofgame

@santinegrete Let me just say not all psychologists are the same. They often use the same proven and researched methods, but their personal approach plays an important part aswell. You have to pick them carefully, not just go to one. There has got to be some kind of connection between you and your psychologist, otherwise dealing with very personal issues isn't really going to work. I'm not saying what you should do (especially since it was in the past), just sharing my experience on the matter.

angeloti83
angeloti83

@Fandango_Letho gotta Love GOW!

dannyodwyer
dannyodwyer moderator staff

@karan  I'm very humbled by your kind words, thank you so much.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@quickshooterMk2  Oh you had luck with a cool game coming to distract yourself of that painful event. Kinda happened with me with Metro Last Light and an abysmal relationship with a girl coming to an abrupt end. But why do you say it is going to cripple you in the future?

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

you know what? i feel like playing the witcher 1 just for the hell of it 


takes me back to better times...