Entertainment, Personal

Gaming & escaping from reality

It’s 3am in the morning, I am in my conservatory playing Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on my Playstation silently hoping my parents don’t wake up and catch me otherwise I will be grounded from playing it for a month AGAIN. At this point, I am only 14 years old and I think it is fair to say I am fairly addicted to gaming. If it isn’t Prince of Persia I am playing, it will be Gran Turismo, Tekken and others.

Fast forward 16 years give or take and I am nearly 30 awaiting the arrival of my Playstation 4 and Horizon: New Dawn game. My birthday is in 4 days time so I won’t get it until then. It has been at least 14 years since I was (self diagnosed by myself and diagnosed by other family members) addicted to gaming but I am determined to not let that addiction take over this time. The thing is, during lockdown, I have found a few things that I have missed doing (prior to lockdown, I started reading, but due to being so anxious near enough everyday, I have not been relaxed enough to read but I do plan to pick this hobby up again) and one of the things I miss is gaming.

When I used to go to my friends house (he chipped in for the PS4 along with my grandparents and parents), I would play his Horizon: New Dawn game or Star Wars and it was so nice as he would relax on his phone, start decorating his house or whatever; as I hadn’t played games in so long, he would also help me with what I had to do (tips etc). When I left his, I just wanted to continue playing and I have been so keen to get a console – it was a toss up between Xbox or PS4 but ultimately, since I have always had Playstation (I had a PS1, PS2 and PS3) I decided to stick with Playstation. My friend *Hazel also getting a console made me want one too.

Anyway, psychologically, this will be so good for me AS LONG AS I DO NOT GET ADDICTED – I am someone who loves to solve problems and issues; I can be like a ‘dog with a bone’ – I will not let something rest until it is resolved. During my CBT sessions, my therapist has confirmed this is a personality trait amongst those who are problem solvers, natural analysts and people who are also perfectionists (which I am).

Once I set up my new console, I will enjoy that during these tough times due to Covid-19, the lockdown and the uncertainty, I can take my mind away from the real world for a short time during my days. Unlike reading, gaming allows me to solve problems therefore improving my cognitive thinking skills as well as other cognitive skills. It has been proven that those who play games, solve puzzles and complete other problem solving tasks on a regular basis even in adulthood improve their reaction time, spatial memory, mental flexibility as well as decreasing stress levels and improve self-esteem amongst other benefits.(https://effectiviology.com/cognitive-benefits-of-playing-video-games/).

Another thing I enjoy doing as I mentioned above is reading and this is extremely beneficial for me in terms of allowing me to relaxing, easing any stress I may have, allowing me to concentrate for a number of hours without realising how much time has passed by (therefore increasing my concentration skills – I find it hard to concentrate on things for longer than 30 minutes) and allowing a decent nights sleep. So going hand in hand with gaming, as long as I don’t get addicted like I used to, the personal benefits to me (and other people if you’re inspired by this post to game and read as well as take up other hobbies from home) seem well worth the time I will put into these activities.

I have seemed to have coped really well during the lockdown – I have to go grocery shopping once a week for myself and I have gone for my grandparents when other family members have not been able to as my grandparents are vulnerable of course and my cousin as she is living with them (she is not allowed out either). Their shopping is left on the porch and I will say hello through their window at the moment. I haven’t seen my friends in a long time bar this weekend where I saw my friend *Amy but I was of course 2m apart from her, her daughter and partner to celebrate my 30th and her partners birthday.

However, since my level 1 course for BSc (Honours) Psychology finished at end of April, I have almost felt at a loss. My life during lockdown involved the above (grocery shopping etc), working from home and studying after work and on the weekends; for my job, I resolve and fix issues = perfect for me; studying = I am learning how to solve psychological issues and put points and arguments forward to make a valid case = again, perfect for me. Since my course ended, I needed to find something else to problem solve so getting the PS4 will help me deal with this personality trait that I seem to have.

I know there are a lot of negatives that come with gaming, however, as mentioned above, if an individual is responsible with their time gaming or parents monitor and restrict their children, then gaming is a perfect way to entertain whilst improving brain function in multiple ways.

Please let me know any thoughts you may have.

Just as a side note as I am getting a lot of readers (thank you so much by the way) from around the world, I do have access to some personal information. To keep myself safe online, I have a statcounter installed on this blog for a number of reasons, but one of the reasons being to monitor who comments are left by and who is obsessively viewing. I have had to report two individuals to police (in the past) due to issues and it is fairly evident one of these individuals views this blog near enough on a daily basis. So please be aware that I have access to an IP address provided by your phone provider (example, if you’re not using WIFI, the IP address will appear near your location), I also have access to the device used to access my blog (the phone or laptop will be stated), the internet platform used will be shown as well as the operating system of the device. I will also have access to how many times an individual has visited in one session, how long they visited for and every link they clicked on to get to this blog and links they clicked on within the blog. The access point (link or direct request by typing in the URL) is also viewable by me as well as time and dates of course. For instance, one view has constantly been from a user who uses Vodafone and an iPhone to access this blog via a direct request. This same user has accessed me through their home network in Uckfield. This blog is fully intended for my psychological discussions, my psychology studies and anything psychology based – there is nothing here for people who have been warned by police to stop viewing to see. Thank you.

Jadey xoxo