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Personal Reflections

Self Care and PC Games

bigfishHave any of you heard of BigFish Games? I’ve been a member of this gaming site for a few years now. For $6.99 a month, I get a gaming credit that I can use towards one of the many games featured on the site. I have a tendency to play mostly time management and word games; ranging from Flip Words 2 to all five versions of Island Tribe, Diner Dash, Hotel Dash, Wedding Dash, Miss Management, JoJo’s Fashion Show, Cooking Academy, and even simulation games like Emerald City Confidential and Artist Colony. I enjoy this site because it’s been like a life saver of sorts for me. Let me explain.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been mulling over this year. It hasn’t been the best year for me so I’ve had to take some time to myself to get it all figured out. It’s not the first time in life I’ve had to draw away to myself. I do it from time to time for sanity’s sake, but there are times when I have to shut everything down and just be alone with my thoughts and fears. When I’m drawing away, I spend a great deal of time playing PC games from BigFish. Now, do you see the connection? Playing PC games is a great way to let my mind wonder, especially when it’s bogged down by so much heavy stuff, like will I ever be able to make a living doing what I love instead of what I have to do.  The PC games are a form of self-care for me. While I’m selling real estate on one game (Be Rich!) or growing tomatoes in another game (Ranch Rush), I’m free enough to be ministered to and get some divine revelation. I’ve learned that, sometimes, the best way to figure out a problem is just be still and see what comes to you rather than toiling over it mentally for hours on end.

This is not the only way I practice self-care; I’m a Yogi as well, but this is a major way. I recall listening to an audio version of  L.A. TheatreWorks’ production of the critically acclaimed stage play, Stick Fly, by Lydia Diamond. In one scene, the main character, Taylor, is rambling on and on about being marginalized while attending a class at her predominately white college alma mater.  Her remedy, after being mentally drained by the class, was to retreat to her room, pull out her new laptop and play Solitaire. She didn’t realize that playing the game religiously was actually helping her regain her sense of self, instead thinking that she was just ‘really liking Solitaire’.  While this is a moment of brevity during the play, I related quite well to Taylor’s gaming therapy.  Since I’ve been off to myself and enjoying my ever-growing collection of BigFish games, I’ve finalized some decisions and feeling good about the new year. I’m even letting go of the emotional baggage of this year so it won’t hinder me in 2015.

SONY DSCA lot of people wouldn’t figure me as a gamer, although I had an Atari as a child and frequented the arcade to play X-Men with friends during my undergraduate years; even skipped class if we’re were close to beating the game for the hundredth time.  One of my best friends has one of those gaming systems, X-Box or something, and he’s always playing games where he’s blowing up shit and killing people. Meanwhile, he takes cracks at me because I have a game where I redecorate rooms with new cabinets and sofas.  What can I say? It relaxes me.  Let’s face it. We all need our ways to escape Life, at times. A self-care regimen, based on those things that allow a person to unwind, is as critical as breathing. Considering that video games are a multi-billion dollar industry, I’m not the only one who uses games as a way to let go. Speaking of which, BigFish also has an online community where gamers share tips and tricks for certain games and connect with each other.  But I prefer to be a loner.

What are some of the things you do as part of your self-care regimen? How do you escape from Life? If you’re a gamer, what kind of games do you play?

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About Chandra Kamaria

Chandra Kamaria is a playwright, essayist, culture maven, educator, entrepreneur, and activist. To learn more, visit www.chandrakamaria.com.

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