Video Games for Relaxation – The New York Times
take a deep breath. Hold it for five seconds. Exhale. Breathe in for three seconds. repeat. How do you feel? a little better? Hassan. We live in tough times, and we welcome any moment of calm.
Video games don’t have a reputation for providing calm. People tend to think of them as more likely to give a stressful adult a headache rather than lead them into a state of relaxation. But reputation can be deceptive. As developers simplify the controls, weaving into beautiful music and relaxing visuals, video games can open spaces of calm and focus, like silent retreats on the screen. They can put your mind at ease by allowing you to occupy a new world and reshape your way of thinking.
Although the neuroscience of video games is not conclusive, there may be evidence that the benefits aren’t just (pardon the phrase) in your head. Recently, a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, Irvine developed Tenacity, a game designed to increase mindfulness. In a small study published in Nature last December, they found that over the course of several weeks, a game can increase connectivity between many brain regions associated with attention.
Fortunately, you don’t need an expensive console to play it. Here are a few things to try, all of which are available as smartphone apps for $ 5 or less.
How about a getaway? Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and starting a new life in a small town isn’t something that often works the way you would expect in real life. But Stardo Valley I got it right. You start off as your own design character, and move to the valley to take over your late grandfather’s overgrown house. You find an idyllic little town in a patch of nature that feels as though it has come out of a story: healthy and charming. The game is open. You can farm alone or with your friends, or while playing, you can eliminate the villain, which is a giant company that operates in supermarkets. The latter may not seem very relaxing, but it does add to the imagination of escaping the stresses of postmodern life, home paradise.
But that might sound a lot like work. In this case, try Prune. The title says it all: With a touch here, a touch there, you gently nudge a tree to blossom. This is a simple drawing game, an exercise in contemplating the beauty of nature itself. According to the App Store page, it is a “Love Letter to the Trees,” containing all the joy and warmth you would expect from the best love letters.
This is a simple puzzle game about things, in its most abstract and aesthetically appealing sense: a lantern, a jukebox, a watch, a pocket notebook. Turn it over, prod it, see what happens. Correct movement causes every object like a flower to blossom, twist and transform into something else. It is a dance, in color and form, across the world of things. In the process, the game becomes a quiet place to just lovingly contemplate the world around you. Isn’t this lamp in the corner beautiful? Have you ever noticed all the lines that can hold the light in that bag, that jar?
Hand-drawn puzzle game, Gorogoa It is the result of years of work by Jason Roberts, a software engineer who quit his job in his 40s to dedicate himself to creating this game. The voltage is shown. Every frame has been meticulously detailed; The landscapes, bedrooms and sky in the game, which take the form of a surreal journey through the turmoil of the twentieth century, reveals itself in bits and pieces. This is a game about learning to see well. Picking out the finer details helps you solve puzzles, and as you solve puzzles, perspective changes, and you begin to understand just how limited your worldview really is – a beautiful lesson in humility.
Desert Golf (2014)
This game It plays a little differently from the others on this list. It’s a golf game that takes place in the most inhospitable golf environment imaginable: a vast desert like Osimendias. Golf balls do not thrive in sand, and the game takes that very seriously. Each throw is an opportunity for surprise and conflict, and to make progress you’ll have to learn a whole new world of ball physics. So why is this game on the list? Because, see: There is no one here. There is just you, that ball, one hole after another, and the desert beauty in the twilight. Everything drowned orange and red. The result is just a formality. And all you will find in the desert is yourself.
The Mountain (2014)
If you are of the right age, you might remember the Tamagotchi craze, those little companion monsters you took care of, a cute pet you kept in your pocket. The mountain is the external technical version of that. Your digital companion is, as the name suggests, Mt. You watch them grow, take shape, things pile up, and they interact with you sometimes. Yep, interact: every now and then, he tells you his strange thoughts about mountains. It was developed by David O’Reilly, who designed the digital interfaces that the characters in the film interact with to her, It’s best to let this game run in the background. Open it periodically for a quick check of the running geology.