Game therapy: Using games to cope with life's struggles

March 8, 2013

Everyone has different ways to cope with the bad times in life. Me? I primarily use video games. Games are definitely an escape from reality, and when I’m going through a really rough time, I use them to forget about all of my least for a little while. Here are a few of my favorite games I like to play when life gets hard.


FEZ is a brilliant puzzle platformer available on the Xbox Live Arcade. If there was ever a game to make you smile, this is it. It’s nearly impossible to get mad at FEZ; there are no lives, enemies, or anything to make you angry. When you die, you respawn right where you left off. I bet that you can’t play this game without cracking a smile. Go ahead, try it!

Heavy Rain

Now, some people are going to disagree with me on this one, considering how Heavy Rain has a very depressing story. But, I think it’s a great game to play when you’re upset because it kind of makes your life seem not so bad. All of the characters have so many problems that it makes your problems seem petty. I mean, really—look at Ethan Mars; one of his sons died because he let his eyes off of him for too long, his wife left him, and he is doing a bunch of horrendous things in order to find his other son who was kidnapped. I’m pretty sure your problems aren’t THAT bad (if so, I’m very sorry).


From the music, to the graphics, to the sheer enjoyment of seeing how long you can get your scarf, thatgamecompany's Journey is fun, distinctive, and just plain pretty. It has a special way of making all of your problems disappear. Journey is one of those games that you just can’t get angry at.

Any sandbox or open-world game (Grand Theft Auto, Sleeping Dogs, etc.)

Sandbox games are excellent to get your mind off of your problems because there is so much for you to do. You kind of get sucked into the world of the game. Lately, I’ve been playing Sleeping Dogs a lot; stealing cars, dating lots of women, and arresting drug dealers is bound to get your mind off of your problems.

If you’re feeling down, try out one of these games. I guarantee you will feel better after playing your heart out. And, remember: everything happens for a reason.