Thoughts On Escapism

Moving is stressful.  House hunting is stressful.  Moving to a location currently undergoing a housing crisis is freakin’ panic inducing.  So yeah, going through some rough times.  And I’ve noticed something.  It’s changed the way I play.

When I get stressed, I often forego the more involved story oriented games or strategic pieces I usually enjoy for either puzzlers or simple hack and slashers.  This is something I’ve known for a long time.  When I’m stressed, I like to concentrate on something else entirely, such as with puzzlers, or just turn it off for some mindless, mechanical fun, as with simple action games.  That works for me.  It helps me manage my stress.

And I’ve been doing that now.  But I’ve also been gravitating towards another type of game.  I didn’t even notice my tastes were swinging in this direction at first, or that there was all that much in common between these games.  After a little while, though, it struck me.

Let’s illustrate what I’ve been going through here.  After a nearly fruitless visit, in which the only place I had scheduled to look at didn’t get taken between the time I set up the appointment and the time I made the visit was the one that was only available for two weeks, I spent the night playing Tropico, where I built lots of housing.  Then I played Civilization, and built many cities full of happy, happy citizens.  I came home and felt the urge to start up Animal Crossing, where you just show up and land yourself a house right away.  Then came SimCity, where I ended up building more residential districts than my city could actually support.

I hadn’t planned out any of that.  I wasn’t trying to play games to feed my fantasy of easy housing.  And yet, that’s apparently where my subconscious led me to.  And you know what?  It did make me feel better.   Perhaps there is something to be said about escapism.

2 responses to “Thoughts On Escapism

  1. Civilization is great. It’s one of those games you can go back to every now and again and still get a lot of enjoyment out of it – almost like playing a solo board game if that makes any sense. I think it’s interesting how the form of escapism we sometimes choose relates to a predicament we’ve experienced (or are experiencing). Sometimes these mundane situations become enjoyable once you’ve removed real-life consequences. It sort of reminds me of how entering a foreign country served as unintentional foreshadowing for me getting into Papers, Please about two years after the fact (it wasn’t a dramatic experience like it would be in the game, thankfully).

    Hang in there. The rough times are always worth enduring for even the most fleeting of good moments.

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