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The Financial Express

Do video games relieve stress?

| Updated: September 23, 2021 21:45:31


-Representational image -Representational image

“It was a random day which turned out to be hectic for me. I was thinking about getting refreshed after returning home. I started watching a movie but failed to keep concentration on it. Then I started playing video games and I got so much engaged there that it took me 4 hours to get out of it,” said Tahirul Islam Talha, an HSC graduate from Milestone College, while talking about his gaming experience.

If there are a thousand complaints from parents about the younger generation today, the attraction of video gaming will be one of them. Even, if there is one complaint, it will also be the involvement with video gaming. Parents describe the involvement or attraction as addiction and in many cases the allegation is true.

Why do people play games? Different people have different answers to this question.

"For the Covid-19 situation, when we couldn't meet friends physically, we had a good time for playing virtual games and gossiping," shared Nehal Hossain, a third-year BBA student at North South University.

He also plays games to spend leisure time at the end of his busy schedule or to keep any worries away from his mind. His friend Asif Haider, a civil engineering student at Mymensingh Engineering College, also shared the same idea.

According to him, this virtual gaming is an easy method to stay away from some daily problems and worries. Getting a win in the game helps him to grow confidence. Both agreed that video gaming can lead to meaningful social connections, which is a great way to unwind after a long day.

Gaming can be an avenue for creativity and art as well, which can help to revive. On the other side, video games give you instant rewards, which help to reduce the stress of achieving long-term goals.

“I play to divert my mind from a stressful situation. In the beginning, the reason was just that. But, to keep your concentration, these games are designed in such a way that they will sometimes get you engaged in self-challenges, sometimes with rewards," said Imam Hussain Shibly, a 3rd-year student of EEE faculty at Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology.

When you are enjoying something -- it can be watching an entertaining TV show, having a great conversation with someone, or playing a video game -- can you think about something other than what you were doing?

In most cases, the answer is no.

Gaming not only keeps your attention, but also it engages both your hands and eyes with a task that could satisfy you. This engagement and enjoyment are some of the best ways to relieve stress.

When maximum cases came to stress and stress relief; with an expectation of a different answer, Pranto Das, a schoolboy of class 8 at Ahmed Bawani Academy, was asked why he plays games.

He simply said that he feels good to win.

Gaming causes the release of dopamine, which makes you feel good. Also, our brain is hardwired to help us feel good when we overcome challenges. This circuit has been hacked by video games. They present us with a challenge as well as the tools we need to overcome it. When we achieve, we feel a sense of accomplishment and competence.

Gaming can induce a flow state, which is comparable to meditation. But when you are playing video games regularly, it becomes hard to concentrate on regular tasks such as study or office work, which is not giving an instant response like reward or defeat.

So, after failing to concentrate on other things and losing interest in them, you may want to play the game again and this situation is called game addiction.

Two ways to get rid of such a situation can be quite effective. One is to improve family relationships and the other is to make daily work enjoyable.

The rise of Ludo as a virtual game at the beginning of the pandemic situation was noticeable. One of the reasons behind the rise was the scope of engagement of multiple players at a time.

Ludo or carrom boards have even been bought in many families and there is a tendency for all the family members to play together. Spending time with family is not only a source of entertainment but also a way to strengthen family bonding. It can also solve the growing problems of loneliness and isolation regarding social distance.

On the other hand, running away from work in fear never brings benefits. In that case, if the work can be made enjoyable, then it must be followed.

The funniest way to increase productivity is to set your rewards. Maybe you can set off playing several rounds of your favourite games for an hour if you can finish work early.

Isn’t it great if the necessary work is completed after getting the reward of the desired thing? Self-help is the best help after all!

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