For some of us, gaming is a casual few minutes on our mobile phone matching colored candy to finish a level. For others, it's training for months to compete for thousands of dollars in international tournaments. For me? Figuring out what I need to gather in order to make a decent looking base in my survival let's play series so that my fans don't think my server-mates play better than I do. All of these situations can lead to feeling stressed. Yes, not being able to beat a level after 237 attempts at the latest saga game is enough to make you want to see how far you can throw your phone. But after cooling off for a moment, you're right back to giving it another try. We all experience different levels of stress when we're playing, but there are some tricks I know to take the edge off when you're on the verge of putting a controller shaped hole through your display.
Playing games on YouTube and TwitchTV comes with some really great perks. My fans give me the lowdown on cool and entertaining things to try out in the games I play, which leads to great feedback and even greater memories. The less glamorous side of playing games for the public is being constantly under the microscope. Thousands of anonymous comments judging me on how I look, speak, and play can really instill some self doubt at times. I have a few tricks that I've learned to use to deal with the stress and come back for more every day.
Taking breaks is probably the most reflexive remedy for gaming stress. When I've gotten to the point that I'm starting to feel tense in my shoulders, I finish up my session and go do something else for a while. Grabbing a snack, a beverage, or just chilling out and playing with my dog takes my mind off of the strain and really helps me relax. I wouldn't do any of these excessively, except maybe petting my dog. Too much snacking might not be a good thing. The point is to distract yourself some other way for a while to cool down so you can come back fresh and focused.
Research is another thing that I do quite often to eliminate stress before it gets to me. Most of the time I know a little bit about the games before I play them, but there are still a lot of games I just assume I'll be able to play and then figure out that isn't the case. Not knowing what the controls are, problems with settings, or connectivity issues can be infuriating if you try to work through them without knowledge. Doing some reading or watching a video can make a huge difference in stress levels because it takes out the guesswork. Maybe there is a save game bug that has a workaround you can use before losing hours of invested playtime by having to start over.
PVE or Player Versus Environment is a great option to use in competitive gaming while you hone your skills and learn how to play well enough in order to depend on your skills and reflexes to compete against other players. Sometimes I just want to experience the game without getting owned over and over again in PVP. There are lots of players out there that have quicker reflexes, better tools, and more hours to play that you and I do. Experiencing the game without the pressures of competing with other gamers can really take the edge off and allow you to enjoy it at your own pace.
Watching gameplay videos is my personal favorite. When you want to experience a game that you aren't sure about purchasing, why not just watch some videos on it? There are some incredibly entertaining video series that I've watched over the years of games that I haven't even played. Seeing bonus endings, tricks to figure out tough puzzles, or watching people beat games in record breaking speeds are all great examples of easy ways to enjoy gaming content without lifting the controller.
If you're gaming and you find yourself getting stressed out, take a minute to consider these tips for some relief. If you can avoid getting stressed out, you'll be able to game longer and stronger, and that’s a win in my book.