President Francis J. Underwood is an avid gamer. Whether it is Season 1 ” shoot ’em ups” , Season 2 war models, or Season 3 mobile game app, he always has something in play. Though a fictional character, like so much of what we see on Netflix’s House of Cards can be taken seamlessly from the screen and applied to our daily lives. This is one nugget of insight that might not land you in the oval office, but can certainly offer some use.
Even if you are not the most powerful man in the world, fighting to stay in power your life is filled with stressors. This stress effects the body and the mind, and makes it harder for us to think, process food, fight disease, and pretty much anything else important that we need to do. Still with all the advances in the modern world we have yet to create a magic pill that wipes all the pain away. Arguably this pill would come in the shape of a bottle of beer afterwork. Like every drug, alcohol has its side effects.
So what do you do to remove stress from your life without looking for answers in the bottom of a shot glass. You need to blow off some steam right? And this steam might be your cranky boss, or noisy kids, or like Frank, it could be the president of Russia who just refuses to cooperate. It is in these times that you could hit the old rowing machine and tire yourself out but at the end of the day, exerting more energy may not be within your capacity.
Watching TV can help but it lacks that interactivity, that really serves as a catharsis. It is not that you want to mute your mind but preoccupy it with something less stressful. So instead of just watching television, you can control it. Be it a first person shooter, racing, or role playing game video games put you in control. Now you may be wondering why you would want more control… the key is the stakes.
In real life, a small folly could ripple through your whole life like a DUI conviction, or the improper disposal of nosy reporter. But in the virtual world of gaming you can literally crash and burn and the only consequence is that you have to start over from the beginning. Cat’s may have nine lives but gamers can have infinitely more than that. Especially if you make it to a save point.
Sometimes it is not simply the what you are dealing with that causes you stress but the repercussions can be so drastic that the idea alone is cause enough for anxiety. If the speed and titillation of action packed video games give you epilepsy fits then you might want to consider hobby modeling.
There is no better way to rest your brain from ruling a nation than to build a miniature one from scratch. Frank, paints his trees, he glues his grass, he perfects his rail road, all in a seemingly meditative state. That is the trick, when you set aside all distractions and find something that captures your absolute focus, allowing you to act upon your free will stress is exhausted.
Pressure is what the world gives us, and we need an outlet to release it. For many of us it was once our art, but then our art became our job and the thing that was out relaxer can now be the thing that we need to escape from. Games are not just for the tech enthusiast, futurist, and technologist, there are place for free expression.
Though seldom celebrated as such, games, and puzzles provide the participant a chance to have a vested interest in the outcome of something without the dire consequences. This freedom to explore, imagine, and fumble is where we find ourselves to be most liberated from stress and pressure.
Your play practice can be as advanced a the current state of the art systems or it can be a simple mobile game, it may not have to be digital at all. Let it be something that draws you in to that meditative state, because once you find it, you have found your magic pill.