Another research study looking into the psychological benefits of gaming found that taking short video game breaks is more relaxing than taking regular breaks.
The 66 participants in the study were given a challenging computer task that was mentally exhausting (maybe like reorganizing Excel spreadsheets). The subjects were then broken into three groups – the first group played a causal game called Sushi Cat, the second group followed a guided meditation, and the third group just chilled. Each of their breaks lasted 5 minutes.
The researchers found that the people who just sat around still felt stressed, because they brooded over the work they had just done. The meditating people felt less stress, thanks to the relaxation exercise. But only the game players actually felt better after the break, because they were able to take their minds off of the work completely.
Rupp, a researcher from the University of Central Florida who worked on the study, had this to say:
We often try to power through the day to get more work finished, which might not be as effective as taking some time to detach for a few minutes. People should plan short breaks to make time for an engaging and enjoyable activity, such as video games, that can help them recharge.
Turns out that when you’re feeling stressed from brain-draining tasks, like at work or school, games are better than relaxation and even meditation! So download some casual games and take regular breaks. And if your boss or teacher tries to scold you, show them this study.
I know you’re curious, so here’s a link to Sushi Cat by Armor Games. It’s a ridiculously simple Plinko-style game about a sushi-eating cat trying to get fat enough to break through the doors of a building where a sexy lady-cat resides. Seriously. There’s even a sequel.
I’m a Clash of Clans guy, myself. What games do you play to unwind? Let us know in the comments below.