I really despise the term “gamer girl”. Mostly because it doesn’t fit me. I am not a girl (picturing a 20-something in shorts and a crop top). And I sincerely doubt when people use that term they think of a 30-40 year-old homemaker. But I can definitely say I am a gamer. I use video gaming as healthy self care. You might be wondering what I mean by that. Well, I like to kill demons after a long day of dealing with people, because it relaxes me. Playing games relieves stress for me, it’s cathartic, and dang it it’s fun! That’s why I firmly believe in gaming as healthy self care.
I guess you could say I’m kind of a closet gamer. I really can’t talk to my other mom friends about how I made it to level 70 in Diablo 3. Or how I actually killed my first mountain lion in Subsistence. They just can’t relate. Sadly that means most of the people I talk to about games are guys. Which sucks, because most of the guys I know prefer first-person shooters, and I just can’t relate to that. I know I can’t be the only gaming homemaker out there!
How Video Games Can Be Used as Healthy Self Care
Self care is all about knowing when you need to take a break. It’s taking time to reset in an effort to be at your best not only for yourself but others. It is considered anything we do to take care of ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. For some, that means taking time to read, eat healthier, get more exercise, or just get some personal down-time. And that is why playing video games is a perfect way to practice self care.
Playing video games has been shown to help reduce stress without causing fatigue. Which makes it the perfect activity for homemakers. We are always looking for a quick way to reset during the day without passing out. All video games can be considered a form of escapism. And if used in moderation can be extremely helpful in giving yourself a mental reset.
I personally use gaming as a reward to myself for getting work goals done on time. It has actually helped increase my productivity.
Ways Playing Video Games Can Benefit Homemakers
- You can take out stress on something besides your family. Nobody likes a grumpy mom or wife.
- Improves quick decision-making ability and problem-solving skills.
- It gives you something to talk about with your kids.
- If you play with your family, it makes for great bonding time.
- Studies have shown that playing games can increase memory and other cognitive abilities. And I know many homemakers who feel like their memory is not as good as it used to be.
- It’s a break from normal daily routines. And that’s always a plus.
How Gaming is Similar to Other Forms of Self Care
Playing video games can be similar to reading a book. But I think it’s better in some ways because you are an active participant. Don’t get me wrong I think reading is something everyone should do on a regular basis (hello, I was a librarian). But to me, video games, depending on the game, can be just as effective as taking quiet time to read for self care.
Gaming can also be similar to working out in the way it relieves stress. Many people work out to get their endorphins up or to just work off negative energy. Video games can have a similar effect in that it can be very gratifying to complete a task after a ton of hard work in a game. Or the way I sometimes use first-person shooters or role-playing games to burn off a little steam. I still think it is very important to fit physical activity into your weekly routine. Gaming only covers some of the mental part of what working out does.
There is a Video Game Genre for Every Taste
The great thing about homemakers using gaming as healthy self care is that there is a game out there for every type of person. Like cooking? There are tons of cooking simulators. Do you like interior design? I have a game on my list for that. Maybe you even like farming. Girl, you’re covered. You’re really not limited to what type of game you prefer to play.
The best way to figure out what type of game you might want to use to relax is to just do the research. I use YouTube to discover new games. And then I go on Steam to check the reviews and see if it’s really worth buying. Grey Still Plays has single-handedly been the reason I have bought 7 games in the last 6 months.
My Favorite Video Games to De-Stress
The type of games I like to play I believe have a really broad audience appeal. Meaning a majority of people agree these are great genres. I’ve played first person shooters (Loved Halo 3). But I really prefer survival games, simulation, city builders, some role-playing, and adventure puzzle games. I’ve listed some of my favorite games in each of my favorite genres below.
- Green Hell: Survival game set in the Amazon Forest with a metaphysical twist. Pretty brutal.
- Raft: Possible Waterworld type scenario. Still in beta. Great concept. Survive on the open ocean collecting floating debris to build your raft while constantly being attacked by a shark (unless on wussy mode).
- The Long Dark: Survive in the frozen wilderness after a geomagnetic storm. Solve a mystery along the way. I really love this one. Has unique graphics.
- Subnautica: Futuristic space adventure + crashed on a water planet. Try to survive in a completely alien terrain. Beautiful game.
- Card Life: Minecraft only everything is made of cardboard. Very unique looking game. Build and survive. You can literally design anything you craft with your own drawing.
- Subsistence: This game has been taking up the majority of my downtime lately. It is one of the most difficult survival games I’ve ever played. It is set in the wilderness and you are given nothing but an ax and a glow stick. The challenge really makes this game so gratifying. The graphics are gorgeous. And it even has realistic sounding thunderstorms.
City Builder Games
- Banished: Survive in a new land as an exiled group of people. Build a city and survive. Pretty game, really like the management system.
- Cities Skylines: Like a grown-up version of SimCity. Really beautiful graphics. If you don’t like to do a lot of management of the city this game might not be for you.
- SimCity 4: The first game to make building a city cool. This is the last version they made. Just a great classic.
- Ostriv: This game is gorgeous. You are charged with building a thriving 18th-century community. You’re in control of the economy, farming, and resource collecting. I really enjoy this game. It’s pretty amazing for only having one guy working on it.
Adventure Puzzle Games
- Myst: The game that defined the adventure puzzle genre. This is a classic. I remember loving every minute of this game. And how it really challenged me. The game is a total mystery that unfolds as you play. You have no idea what’s going on until clues are given to you.
- The Room 3: I just got this one the other day. So far I love it. The puzzles are hard, but not “I want to bash my head on my desk” hard. Very metaphysical themed game. I think it’s meant to be scary, but meh.
- Grim Fandango: Anyone who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s playing video games knows this game. Very cartoony but in a good way. You’re solving a mystery as a grim reaper. Has the feel of a 1930’s detective story with the Day of the Dead mixed in. Great game!
- The Witness: This game could be the child of Myst. It has a very similar premise. You wake up on an island and have to solve complex puzzles to figure out what’s going on. Beautiful graphics (so at least you have something pretty to look at while you’re frustrated).
Role Playing Games
- Fable 2: You’re probably wondering why Fable 2, not 1 or 3. Well, I never finished one and honestly couldn’t stand the controls. And 3, well 3 is just meh compared to 2. Fable 2, in my opinion, is the best in the series. It’s your basic 18th centuryish style role-playing game with quests and magic and guns and swords. But it’s really easy to play once you get the hang of it and it has a great storyline.
- Diablo 3: This is my go-to stress relief game. If I’ve had a bad day this is the game I go to to take out my anger. Diablo was one of the first role-playing games I ever played. And I love it now as much as I loved it then. If you want to play a great game full of mystery, quests, demon-killing, and fantasy. Diablo 3 is your game.
- Rose Online: One of the very few MMORPGs I actually like. I’m not a huge fan of playing with strangers online. But this game was one I absolutely loved. It has a really interesting storyline with multiple worlds to discover.
- Sacred Gold: Another oldie but a goodie. I used to play this co-op with Aaron. It’s a fun, simplistic game. Easy for a new gamer to try out role-playing games. It has a fantasy vibe to it, multiple classes, and a great story.
- House Flipper: This is a great simulation game for all you fans of HGTV. In fact, they are adding an HGTV downloadable content to the game soon. Basically, it is as it says. A game where you buy houses and flip them. You also can do missions to make extra money.
- Two Point Hospital: This is a cartoony, funny, hospital simulation game. The reason I love this game is that it is a reboot of a classic 00’s game Theme Hospital. Design your hospital and try not to kill people all while managing annoying employees.
- The Sims 4: Couldn’t forget the classic simulation game. I love doing crazy things with my sims. Sometimes I create my own family and throw them in a house together and see how they interact. You would be surprised at how accurate this game can behave!
Don’t Feel Ashamed for Using Gaming as Healthy Self Care
I used to think I was odd because I was one of the few among my female friends who still play video games into adulthood. But dang it they help me relax. It’s no different than sitting down and reading a book or going to the spa. It’s been shown to be a healthy way to relax and improve your mental state. And I truly believe It’s keeping my cognitive ability sharp.
As far as I’m concerned you should never be ashamed of something that helps you to be a better person. And taking care of your mental well-being by getting some much-needed fun and downtime is taking care of yourself. If you’re over 30, you’re a homemaker, and you enjoy gaming awesome! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
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