Could gaming be the new after work cocktail?
I used to unwind on Friday nights or hell, any night, with an after six drink with my girls or a date when I was working in the corporate world. Now that I’m punching my own time clock as a business owner working remotely, I no longer haggle for space at the bar or have to wrestle myself into a too-high stool and feel my legs dangle (short girl problems) just shy of the foot rest while trying to find a place to put my purse amidst tipsy strangers with sticky fingers. Ah, those were the days.
Now my bar is my home office and my libation of choice (most times) is H2O enhanced with flavored water drops (less sugar). I slowly decompress from my long days with sessions of gaming that transport me effortlessly from digital marketer and emerging writer to puzzle solver, bad ass adventurer and enemy crusher. Soothes the soul, I tell ya.
I’ve always liked video games. As a kid I frequented arcades or neighborhood stores that wanted an extra revenue stream and didn’t mind screaming kids in their establishments on the regular. Some of my favorites were Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig-Dug and Centipede. Remember those classics?
Then when I got to high school, going out with friends and dating took the place of playing video games and my mom never sprung for any of those now archaic gaming systems anyway so I disconnected for a long time from my flirtation with gaming.
Then a few years ago I treated myself to an Xbox. I had snagged my dream job at the time working for a children’s publisher as a project manager and decided that I wanted to re-discover what I had loved so much about gaming. At first I found myself using it to connect to the Internet to watch movies on Netflix, but then I started downloading and purchasing some games. I learned that I now liked role-playing games that tell stories, which makes sense being that I’m a writer. I loved getting through the levels of Jade Empire, The Longest Journey and X-Blades.
Are we zoning out or de-stressing?
I also realized that whenever I was having a bad time or going through a difficult patch that I played more frequently and for longer periods of time. It really helped to escape into the colorful fictitious worlds where I was more than just a relaxed or frustrated observer, but a do-er and a problem solver. Blasting bad guys and figuring out the clues to solve story mazes can be quite rewarding. Any tension that had built up during the day slowly dropped away while I was playing and time seemed to stop. Quite often a few hours would pass until my growling tummy got my attention.
After I was done, all I had to do was turn my console off and I was snapped right back to reality, unlike those nights at the bars when I had to navigate the subways or flag down taxi’s which often cancelled out the mellow feeling I had obtained from the glasses of vino I had consumed. These days I’ll take a glass of gaming over the mad dash home after last call is announced any day.
Well, at least until Scandal Thursday’s. Gladiators can’t gladiate without a little wine, can they?
I am dealing with a few challenges now and my gaming has picked up again. I promise not to over do things and will get outside more as it’s getting warmer, but I do like that I’ve found an alternative way to relax and it’s quite fun too!
Here are some of the games I’ve been playing over the past few months:
Am I the only one who finds solace in gaming or are there others? What are your favorite games?
© 2015, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.
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