201: Goodbye, Cruel World

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Goodbye, Cruel World

We've all played videogames to temporarily escape from reality, but who knew that games could be an effective medical treatment for chronic pain? Rob Zacny explores the psychology of pain therapy.

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That's exactly what I'm trying to explain to my girlfriend :/ I hope that this article will come in handy next time we get in argument

This is actually sweet. When I need painkillers next I'm just gonna' stick on FF:XII!!!!

So glad you decided to add this to the 'Best of'. It's always been my favourite article :D

erridgeman:
This is actually sweet. When I need painkillers next I'm just gonna' stick on FF:XII!!!!

Maby not the best choice.

Mullahgrrl:

erridgeman:
This is actually sweet. When I need painkillers next I'm just gonna' stick on FF:XII!!!!

Maby not the best choice.

Why ever not my friend?

To bad the last time I was in great pain my whole right hand (my primary hand) was in a great big cast so I couldn't play anything :(

erridgeman:

Mullahgrrl:

erridgeman:
This is actually sweet. When I need painkillers next I'm just gonna' stick on FF:XII!!!!

Maby not the best choice.

Why ever not my friend?

I can of course only speak for myself but I find most ff games having the opposite effect.

Hasn't this article been published before?

Very Interesting article, enjoyed reading it a lot.
I'd love to see some references to the studies on using VR as painkillers if they're available.

Xvito:
Hasn't this article been published before?

Sure has. That's why it's a "Best of" issue :)

I think I just got why this magazine is called "The Escapist". lol.

Good article.

The quotes looked fucking horrible. Just wanted to say that.

CantFaketheFunk:

Xvito:
Hasn't this article been published before?

Sure has. That's why it's a "Best of" issue :)

Ooh, my bad...

Video games are at their core are just another form of stimuli. If we accept the statement "energy flows where the mind goes" then we see that by focusing on physical or emotional pain it can be exacerbated, by focusing our thoughts away from the pain we can alleviate it to lesser or larger extent. More than that various stimuli, including video games, can open our minds to fresh points of view that can make coping with painful situations much easier.

Of course, in so far as video games are concerned, the cure can be more poisonous than the disease. Getting "T-Bagged" by some guy in an online Halo 3 match, being constantly bullied by a bunch of players in an MMO, or the sheer frustration of playing any Ninja Gaiden game, is enough to make a person's pain go from bad to devastating.

Too as beneficial as playing a game like Flower on the PS3 could be it still doesn't compare to actually being out in a real meadow, amongst real flowers and a cool breeze blowing across your face.

I suffer back pain and fybromyalgia. I told the doctor that when I play games I noticed I was in less pain. And she looked at me like I was an idiot. So this article is a kind of vindication. Although she probably will never read this.

Playing games while I have a cold reduces the amount of sneezes and coughs. Does that help?

conanthegamer:
I suffer back pain and fybromyalgia. I told the doctor that when I play games I noticed I was in less pain. And she looked at me like I was an idiot. So this article is a kind of vindication. Although she probably will never read this.

Print out, fax, or email the article to her. Most doctors don't have much free time to look up something they aren't already familiar with, but they do have time if someone is able to directly give them the material to read.

Then again, perhaps she already knows about such things, and the look was one of frustration that she's unable to prescribe video games (not thinking you were an idiot). :)

Interesting stuff. When I went through a fairly major bout of depression, gaming was the only effective anti-depressant I could find.

Knew this one was familiar, didn't realise it was a Best Of issue till I read the comments, though. Bad me. *Goes to read editor's notes*

Anyway, great article. I've used games for escapism and distracting myself from emotional and physical pain for many, many, many years.

A most interesting piece, definitely worthy of further study.

Good Job.

I totally don't imagine people in school whilst I roll people up in Katamari Damacy, and there pleasurable screams of pain totally don't make me feel like I need to go see a psychiatrist...

I poke fun, because we've all been there.

MorkFromOrk:
Of course, in so far as video games are concerned, the cure can be more poisonous than the disease. Getting "T-Bagged" by some guy in an online Halo 3 match, being constantly bullied by a bunch of players in an MMO, or the sheer frustration of playing any Ninja Gaiden game, is enough to make a person's pain go from bad to devastating.

That makes sense, so it might be good to make a list of the games that would work for you when you might be dealing with pain from a headache, illness, or accident; whathaveyou. Avoid those that can create uncomfortable emotional events, such as multiplayer games, as well as those that in the past might have created ghost pain from something a character experiences. But that might not be the case for everyone. I've often finished a campaign in Left 4 Dead, and as the tally-credits are rolling, I would feel a distinct separation and return to self. I would imagine L4D would be good anesthesia for me.

What a very interesting article. This reminds me of my first few years at uni. Ridiculous devotion to my units, and then a marathon of gaming or swimming to relax and let it all fall away. My scores were through the roof. Course, not much of a social life, but it was some type of gamer-monasticism. There was only games (Soul Calibre 2, Hitman, Civilization etc), peaceful swimming at night, and study.

Years later came across another productive combination. Short but frequent periods of sleep, and alternating between writing my thesis and gaming. Ignoring other distractions could get a huge amount done in a week of this.

I've been particularly pants recently & reading this makes me feel no different. In fact, it's because I've been feeling down that I've been playing less games. Somehow I've not been able to enjoy them as much as I normally do because my 'annoyances' are nibbling at my anterior cingulate cortex (Apparently).

Saying that though, I understand what this article is saying.

And so without further hesitation. I am going to shoot people on Call of Duty 4 for a few hours. That should do the trick for a while.

Great read, thanks.

FuZion.

haha nice im gonna show this thread to my girlfriend acually rly intrestig :P

When ever I'm feeling bad I think to myself, "I need 20 CCs of Halo," and go play Halo.

Nivag:
So glad you decided to add this to the 'Best of'. It's always been my favourite article :D

Absolutely this.

I'm at university right now, in a house with six other people. Of the four that I consider friends, two are gamers and the other two are... well, not the sort of people who 'get' gaming (read: women, although one of them has a Wii. And one of the gamers is female. But never mind that). I really want to send this article to those two, in the hope that it gives them a bit of an understanding (as psychology students, if nothing else) of why I play. Of the two that are gamers, I mentioned this article to the guy last night... the other one is an occasional visitor to this site so maybe she's seen it for herself.

So... yeah. If ever there was an article that deserved 'best of' status, it's this.

"Kingdom Hearts: my anti-drug"

I never thought about that...I'm a girl gamer and I never noticed that...but now that I think about it they do help me escape from my messed up life...that's probably the reason why I don't have nearly as much drama as the other girls my age.

Very interesting article, suck on this Jack Thompson lol.

If found this quite interesting. As someone who has suffered for over half a year with (sometimes crippling) chronic leg and lower back pain from a compressed nerve root, I can testify to the truth of this. I never thought about it before, but sitting in my chair in front of my TV, I get some relief from the distraction of TV shows, but a lot more when playing a console game.

The only danger is, sometimes I'm aggravating the source of the pain and don't realize it until the pain grows to an unbearable level. Then it's a whole lot more difficult to calm the pain down than it would have been had I caught it earlier.

erridgeman:
This is actually sweet. When I need painkillers next I'm just gonna' stick on FF:XII!!!!

lol that remedy is out my hand im depressed cz of waiting for ffxiii

I guess I could take a couple of weeks of leave and dig up my civilization games to try to quit smoking.

This is an awesome article, loved it. Btw, Turok on the original Xbox (or the one for the 360 because it's prbly the same crap) is definetly NOT ur source of getaway pleasure since there's inverted controls, never enough ammo to just fuking kill the guy, unbeatable lvls, and to top it off a story that makes no fucking sense because they never explain a damn thing! Man, I wish Yatzee would do an episode about Turok... :/

Oh yeah, and it is such a long game that you have to make sure you don't get too sucked into it or you'll find yourself playing level after level of crap.

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