Say what??? People always used to ask, is gaming bad for you?  But you know, playing online games can be good for your mental health, when you play them in the right way. 

Gaming is also a great form of low-cost entertainment and with so many free video games available on the internet, there is so much choice of types of games available.

The Benefits of Playing Online Games

It can help improve mood and concentration levels. It activates the reward system of the brain through dopamine release but it’s important not to overplay games or it can have the reverse effect.

It also helps with hand and eye co-ordination because you have to watch what is happening on the screen as well as manoeuvre your character or line up your squares.

To game is to relieve stress or reduce anxiety as it’s a bit of an escape or distraction from the day-to-day goings-on. I enjoy playing online games when I’ve had a busy day. 

What’s the Best Types of Video Games for Dealing with Stress?

What type of game is best for you is hard to say, as we’re all different and we all like to play different types of online games.  Which is why there are 1000’s of free games available to choose from, which cater for all ages and abilities. 

If you sign up to a free online game site like you can also save the games you like playing into a favourites folder. This is really handy because you can find what you want to play quickly and easily, each time you visit the website.

I always like having a go at playing some of the retro inspired games like Tetris where you have to try and make rows to score points and proceed through different levels. You have to rotate the pieces and drop them in such a way that you can create a solid wall which is how you can complete lines.  See screenshot below. 

Photo: Tetris in-play

The game starts off slow and easy but soon gets more difficult as more pieces start dropping at a quicker rate. You need to get them all quickly rotated and in place before they start stacking on top of each other, otherwise it’s game over.

Space Invaders inspired retro games is another that I like. There are a couple of versions. One is a scrolling space shooting game where your gun shoots automatically and what you need to do move back and forth, left and right, to shoot the various alien crafts. If you run into an alien ship you die and if one of the alien crafts passes behind your craft you lose one of the three heart containers.

The other is where you have blocks to take cover behind but the alien spacecraft are continually shooting at you and the blocks get removed each they are hit until you eventually have no cover.

Photo: 2 types of space invaders

And lastly, I enjoy playing the not so retro but hugely popular candy crush or bejeweled type games.  Or match 3 (or more) games they’re known. Like Unikitty Rainbow Rage which you can see a screenshot of in the photo below.

Photo: Unikitty levels and in-play

This is a match 3 battle game. As you complete matches of 3 or more in a row you attack the enemy and power up your team members for special attacks. You need to slide pieces to make rows or columns of 3 or more in a row.  When the power meters of friends in your battle group are full, click on them to have them join the battle with a power attack. Take advantage of stars, pizza slices and rainbows when they appear on the board to accelerate your attack.

Well that’s enough of me talking about the games I like. Which games do you like to play to de-stress?


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