Over the last year I’ve developed a fairly serious case of anxiety. Lying in bed freaking out over uni, feeling uncomfortable in large groups of people, that kind of stuff. A couple of weeks ago I started seriously digging into Breath of the Wild, the only time I’ve seriously played a +5 hour game in 12 months, and I’ve found it very healing! Playing the game just feels very peaceful and allows my mind to roam into good spaces instead of bad. The fact that the game is so open to letting you play how you want, and not punishing in most situations, is definitely part of this. Combat in Zelda has never been very complicated, and the new free form nature to puzzle solving allows you to float through most situations pretty casually. Additionally, the fact that the game focuses more on exploring as opposed to map cleaning is far more relaxing to me. I always turn mini maps off in games, and for BoTW to feel designed around that style of play is very cool! And obviously the gorgeous graphics and music help. The way that the overworld music filters in and out instead of constantly bombarding you is yet another example of how well made this game is for people who really just need a chill time.
My only complaint is that in certain areas of the maps it rains far too often. Also the fish people are too hot. Yep, he’s a gamer.
Does anyone else have any stories they’d like to share about games affecting their mental health, good or bad?
EDIT: Also, shouts to Austin and Danielle for the permadeath streams. Your infectious love of the game has been a serious help in these shitty months. The streams just have such a great positive vibe! You know, other than the constant threat of death by swimming.