Top Marks For Gaming
The Stress Institute, some clever bods in the US, have identified gaming as a fantastic way to beat the stress in the build up to exams and deadlines. As a cause of both physical and mental illnesses, the experts have concluded that playing so called "casual games" is great for releasing stress busting hormones and endorphins.
Pogo.com seems to be the chief beneficiary of this report so far as the Stress Institute has partnered with them to promote the stress benefits of having breaks from studying and revising by playing their games like sudoko and bejeweled - very handy piece of marketing for Pogo thats for sure.
The report claims that these casual games are better than 'proper' games like Warcraft, because they provide easy, quick entertainment with mental challenges. Well maybe but how long does it take to load up a game of Pro Evo and get a game with someone online? Personally i'd say half an hour playing any game is a great stress relieving tool. During my finals and dissertation a half hour session on mario kart 64 was a blessed salvation for all of us and we were all refreshed and ready to hit to books again!
What this report has tapped into is the key reason why so many of us feel the need for a game on our favourite console - relaxation and escapism and of course fun. "One of the key reasons why I think gaming is so popular is because it's absolutely an escapist type of pursuit," said Greg Johnson, chief marketing officer for GGL Global Gaming, a social network site for gamers of all kinds. We could go as deep as you like with this kind of chat, about what kind of void in our other daily activities games can provide for and these sorts of issues are starting to be discussed by some big players. "Oftentimes, play, if we break it down, is actually an extension of emotions that we don't want to face. For example, loneliness, anger," Dubbels said. "Play allows us to represent or take on new roles and identities and move from the experience of emotion and identity that we're currently experiencing." Sounds interesting to me and very believable. Gaming for so many people is a stress busting leisure activity no different to exercise or cooking; releasing creativity, getting your mind off other things and releasing chemicals that otherwise wouldn't be and making us happier, more relaxed and better prepared for the other things in life.
The report also recommends gaming in moderation, maybe i should cut out those 6 hour online marathons on COD4...