Why I find it hard to unwind when playing video games

I love games; at one point, I’d even say I was nearly addicted to playing online games. It was all I thought about, and when I wasn’t playing these games such as League of Legends, I’d be watching videos on them. But as I got older, I found it very difficult to enjoy playing games in the same way. 

Naturally, when you grow up, you receive more responsibilities. From work, to family, to hobbies: the older you get, the more important these things become. Suddenly killing minions and buying items from in-game shops felt really trivial. Had I outgrown games? Really I’d just become hyper-aware of the world around me and how I should be spending my time. Every time I was playing a game, I’d be thinking about what else I could be doing with my time. Could I be revising, reading or spending time with my family? Gaming started to feel like a waste of time and I didn’t enjoy playing it in the same way. 

Games are popular because they are an escape from reality. You play a game to go into a virtual plane, one which doesn’t have the same pressures of the external world. You kill fictional enemies to vent anger; you play different characters to become someone more confident and bold than yourself. Escapism is important, and it can even be healthy; but what happens when you just can’t let go of those outside pressures? 

I think finding the balance is important. You can’t play games all day long, but you also can’t spend all day worrying about what else you could be doing. I’m still trying to accept the fact that not every twenty-four hours of the day needs to be spent doing something productive. It can be tricky to enjoy things the way you used to, especially as you get older and things become more important. However, taking the time to unwind is vital, and taking this rest can allow you to be more productive when you do need to switch back on. So take that break, and escape reality for a while. 

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Leia Butler

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July 2021
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