I Asked 4 Women How Video Games Help Them Practice Self Care -- Here’s the Scoop

Let’s be real: looooong gone are the days where ~video games are for boys~. Like, was that ever even true? For as long as I can remember, the gamers in my life have been women of all ages who play on a variety of platforms, seek out a variety of games, and integrate gaming into their lives in ways that are as unique as they are. For me, video games have always been a way to pause and create intentional time for myself. Gaming literally allows me to truly immerse myself in an entirely different world and, for an hour (or, in my case, more like five hours), it’s the only thing I have to focus on. In our absolutely ~wild~ world, it’s such an essential.

I decided to chat with a few women in my life about why and how they play video games, and how gaming has impacted their lives.

What video games have you connected with most? 

Sophia: When I was young I would play a community-based game with my friends where everyone was helping each other reach a goal. It was a fun conversation starter, but it also meant we all had something in common.

Sammi: I have a particular love for games that are strongly story-based. Graphics today are SO realistic, and when you combine that with a good plot it feels, to me, like you’re actually in the screen and a part of the action, and not just vegging out on the couch.

How have video games shaped you? 

Sophia: I tend to play video games when I am bored and have nothing to do, or am just itching to get my fingers moving.

Megan: To be completely honest, I’ve never thought video games meant much to me. I mainly play them to waste time or just as a release. Now that I’ve taken a little time to reflect, though, I realized how important that down-time is for me.

Edel: Video games were both an escape and a socializing tool for me growing up. I remember surrounding the tv with my cousins and taking turns playing different video games — since we only had two controllers at the time. Going home after school I would play video games with my friends, from going to each other's houses or playing virtually together as we got older.

Would you say that gaming is a form of self care?

Megan: Definitely. Gaming allows me to take a break from the work that I do, even though I do love the work that I do. I’ve always been the type of person that likes to put herself into other peoples’ shoes and video games are a fun way of achieving and practicing that, albeit in an abstract way.

Sammi: It’s like immersing yourself in a movie, and when I’m focusing on the task at hand in a video game, I can let go of every other little thing going on in my life and just be in that moment. I’m not thinking about tomorrow’s deadline or the test results I’m waiting on - whatever has been bothering me, for those few hours, it isn’t anymore.

Edel: Yes! When I’m by myself I use video games as a way to escape and calm my mind. It’s nice to step out of reality for a bit. Even when I’m not the one physically playing them the game I enjoy the escape from watching others play.