What Games Do You Play When You Need to Relax?

Illustration for article titled What Games Do You Play When You Need to Relax?

Not all of us play video games in order to relax. No. Some of us play games in order to plan, to strategize and to conquer. Some of us grind. But reader DocSeuss needs to relax, and badly. The guy's sore, tired and grouchy, and his quest for a game to balm his nerves is the subject of today's Speak Up On Kotaku.


As a few of you probably know, I'm grouchy due to massive amounts of chronic pain and fatigue that only seems to be getting worse. Other stuff's going on like getting turned down at job interviews because "others have more experience than you," and so forth. Anyways, I'm not in a great place right now.

Sounds like a great time to relax, no?

Well, that's what I'm trying to do, and that's got me a little curious. What are your relaxation games? Like... the game you pick up and just burn your way through every once in a while because it's easy, fun, and in no way frustrating? I could really use a game like that right now (or, um, about ten thousand dollars, but I'd be happy with a game to play), and Conker/AvP2 just aren't doing it for me right now.

Any tips?

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.

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I feel for you Doc, I've been off work for eight weeks now due to severe problems with anxiety. I have bipolar disorder, and often they go hand in hand, but recently, the anxiety took precedence. I'd been having panic attacks, which I never thought much of; I remember telling a friend how I had been feeling and how it was just terrible, and they said "You do realise that's a panic attack, right?" and next thing you know, the day before I go into work, I'm throwing up literally anything that I eat, and end up with a horrific build up of trapped wind I hadn't experienced since I had my hiatal hernia (which is pain similar to a heart attack, I've been told).

It sucks, it seriously does, and whilst I'm not so ignorant as to not realise that there are people out there in far worse conditions; it's challenging trying to deal with something so mentally overwhelming. During these eight weeks, I've had a family member diagnosed with cancer, my closest friend leave to another country and live there (literally the only person I've ever been able to fully confide in), and the lingering question as to what I'm going to do for the rest of my life, feeling that perhaps somewhere along the way, I might have fucked up, and that time's too short to do anything worthwhile. I've been on four different kinds of medications since this started, and my most recent one essentially zombifies me for the day, and knocks me out cold at night; so I have pretty much no energy.

It sounds like bullshit, but one day you'll wake up, and everything won't seem as bad any more. The walls that were closing in on you suddenly look like they're miles away, the sun will be that bit brighter, your food will taste nicer, and you'll think that maybe this isn't the worst place to live. Pain, both mental and physical, is our challenge; I could spout a bunch of Eckhart Tolle bullshit at you, but people today and generations before us have overcome greater pains, and through it felt a better understanding of themselves and others. Enduring is the hardest part. but it leads to something so much sweeter.

All I can say is, thank goodness that I've had video games during my time off to keep me occupied. Anyone who's ever in a similar situation should play a video game, they're such an amazing distraction, and anything's better than dwelling on that which keeps you down. That and reading, always read new things, and make time for a book; someone made time to write it, it's only fair.

As for games to try; give Team Fortress 2 a go if you don't already play it. It's always cheap over Steam, it has a decent learning curve for a multiplayer game, and it's got a great community; there's always someone on a server willing to help out a new player without scrutiny. Most of all, it's a ridiculous amount of fun.

Feel better, man.