So my brother has opened up a new blog called psone classics. He’s written up a little article on responsible gaming in university. Please check out the post and take a look at the blog.
Video games are a great way to entertain yourself, they’re relatively cheap, engaging, and if you have friends that play as well, they can even be social. But sadly there is a dark side to gaming, and many of us have seen friends slowly disappear to the cave of their dorm rooms with a computer loaded with World of Warcraft, boxes full of energy drinks, with friends and homework forbidden inside.
This is a sad thing, seeing your friends disappear into that world, where nothing else matters but that next item they’ve been working towards, or that boss they need to slay before they can sleep for the night. It’s really tragic to see this take hold on a friend of yours, but even worse when you become that cave dwelling Red Bull guzzling potato.
How can you avoid this gruesome fate?
This list will help.
(I mean, if you don’t stay in school and get a good job, where will your gaming budget go? Down that’s where.)
Part One, Choose the right games.
First off, you need to move away from the “games with no end”. W.O.W. is the big one, but there are others out there, like the multi-player shooters, Team Fortress, Call of Duty, Left for Dead… These games are all a ton of fun, but because they have no end (W.O.W. more so and the others through multiplayer) it’s easy to get addicted, and because there’s no end, nothing is there to make you think twice about gaming all night (and it’s something that happens quite regularly). Playing games with a storyline that has a beginning, middle and end are a much safer bet, once the story is finished there’s a sense of closure. Afterwards sleep seems like an interesting reprieve, and of course, that paper that needs to get done by Friday.
Part Two, use games as your reward.
This is something I do a lot of. When I’m really looking forward to a new release, I’ll pre-order it, and put it on my TV. I also take a post-it note and write a goal on it, then stick it to that pristine box with that sure to be interesting game I’ve been waiting for inside.
This gives you something to work towards, perhaps it’s a reward for finishing your exams, or for completing your last assignment in this way you can make your gaming habit work for you instead of it working against you.
(there is also some research to suggest your gaming habit makes you smarter, check out the link at the bottom of this post)
Part 3, If you’re an online gamer.
If you’re an online gamer and many of you are, there is one trick that will help you not get SO addicted to playing online, that trick is to only play with people that you know in real life.
When someone gets addicted to an online game such as World of Warcraft, they not only get addicted to the gameplay, but to the social aspect as well. A few game companies have realized this and released games such as Mafia Wars, Farmville, etc. on social media sites not only to get them to play those games, but make it so if they quit their habit (of playing an MMORPG or something like Farmville) they’ll lose those people they knew online.
If you were seriously addicted to playing Farmville for instance (a game on Facebook) you’d have to leave the site, because half of all the updates now are “Jenny found a sad little cow on her farm in Farmville, will you help her?” Imagine the power that has, making not only the work you put into the game something you’d lose, but friends as well.
Boiled down, if you play online, have a guild, etc, make it a local guild that does things other than play games together, then you’ll have real friends instead of just nameless people you meet on the internet (not real friends).
Part Four, Use your time wisely.
If you’re studying you need a lot of time to get all your assignments, labs, and papers finished and up to par. But you need time to unwind as well. Gaming works well in this regard as a great source of escapism, but there’s a time for it.
Make a schedule with all the classes, meetings, studying and workouts you have to do, and make some time specific for gaming. If you don’t you’ll run the risk of trading sleep time for game time, or friend time for game time. Even if you have a night of the week that you take off to unwind, that’s ok, but it’s important to keep to your schedule, and have your important goals (studying!!!) levied first.
Part Five, One game at a time.
If you’re a big gamer like me, you walk by the local game store and see those wonderfully cheap games sitting there in the used games bin, and sometimes you can’t help but pick one up. This is fine, but there’s one very important thing to remember, gaming is like studying, focusing at one thing will save you a lot of time. So in this regard, only play one game at a time!
Having many games on the go at one time will slow you down, and when one game isn’t going well, you’ll skip to the other one, and by the time you get to your third you’ll realize,
You haven’t had any fun, and spent your time being frustrated,
not progressed in any one game, just tread water in a few,
and made you think you need to buy a new game because these ones are either too hard or not fun enough.
Playing one game at a time, keeps you moving (in the game) and gives you that feeling of satisfaction when you finally complete it instead of it just going on your shelf, or under your bed, or… where ever you keep your games.
Bottom line is, Play one at a time, if it’s too hard, take a break (or read a walkthrough if you’re really stuck). Those problem solving skills will love you for it.
So, there you have it, a few tips on how to keep that gaming habit of yours in check. If this list prevents just one of you from chasing the World of Warcraft dragon I’ll have done my job. Keep studying hard and gaming right.
Brennan M Guest blogging from PSOneClassics.com