Is Gaming Really Effective for Reducing Stress?

loads of stress

No matter your vocation, at some point you will see a level of stress that threatens to stop you in your tracks. It's perfectly natural as our lives become evermore busy and reliant on multi-tasking. But can gaming help to reduce your stress levels?

You could be bidding to become the next British Prime Minister or be aiming to turn out the best burgers in town at the local café – and no matter how modest or otherwise your monthly salary happens to be, the chances are that your working life is going to involve a fair bit of stress (with the surprising exception, perhaps, of being a CEO or having one of the top boardroom level jobs).

With hard work comes the need for hard relaxing; life is all about balance, after all. Obviously some people get the relaxation they need by going out for a pint after work, and there are others who prefer to get their rejuvenation during working hours, perhaps thanks to a quick session in the gym. For others, though, an activity that combines the social element that a trip to the pub offers, and the relaxed vibe that sitting down and chilling provides, is the perfect antidote to work-related stress.

If this latter band describes you, one way that you can get your social fix and potentially enjoy a winning buzz is iGaming, with multiple gaming options provided by the likes of Guts.com best online casino operator and others in this field.

The Growth of Mobile Gaming

Indeed, the growth of the mobile gaming market and the level of social engagement as people chat to other players while playing games like bingo, massively multiplayer online games like Clash of Clans, or even games that used to be the realm of the console world like Super Mario Run, proves how increasingly this is one area that individuals are choosing as their mode of relaxation during their down time.

jewel gaming

"Mobile games - Bejeweled" by Ian Lamont (CC BY 2.0)

In fact, such is the popularity of the sector for relaxation purposes that talk is now turning to the possibility of seeing mobile gaming streamed live in the same way that eSports is currently, bringing the world of mobile gaming (and incorporating some of our most beloved console gaming characters) to big UK TV channels like BBC Three, combining two relaxation mediums in the process: gaming on mobile and that age-old relaxation activity of watching TV. Of course, the professional level of gaming we’re talking about here is a world away from the stress-busting gaming mindset of most casual players, but it shows the versatility of the world of mobile gaming and importantly proves that it can plug a gap in terms of free stress-relief.

The End of the Console as a Stress-release Valve?

With the world of mobile gaming on the increase, and with revenues now overtaking those of regular gaming, does that mean that we are going to stop using consoles and PCs as a way of chilling out after work?

atari

"Atari Jaguar" by Matthew Paul Argall (CC BY 2.0)

The short answer to this is no; we may see a shift to watching professionals play eSports and other mobile games (in the same way you watch your mates play each other but on a more professional level) and we're spending more and more time on mobile gaming, but for those who love gaming in its purest form, the "retro" feel of console gaming means that it provides a comfort that isn't always readily achieved courtesy of your iPhone screen.

Retro gaming still has a huge draw; just take into account the immense popularity of the retro games consoles that have been released by the likes of Nintendo, as well as the fact that Atari have re-entered the gaming world for the first time in 20 years as proof of that. We might be changing our gaming habits and the manner in which we use gaming to defeat stressful moments, but it’s worth remembering that we're still defeating those bad days by playing a game… just in different ways.

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