RPGs as Therapy: How RPGs Make Us Better

I feel bad for my neighbors. The noises coming from my apartment during a long gaming session must resemble Regan in The Exorcist. I yell and curse whenever something doesn't go my way. I must appear childish and buffoonish when making my case for what just happened on screen. But the interesting thing is how much these actions contrast with my general demeanor. I'm usually happy-go-lucky, walking around with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I'm pragmatic even when frustrated, which is more than I can say when I throw a temper tantrum like a 2-year-old playing a video game.

"I've had friends look at me awkwardly when I yell at a game and then turn it off and return to the couch with a giant smile on my face."
Everyone deals with anger in a different way. Cliché, I know, but it's very true. I usually bottle up my negative thoughts and emotions because I don't want to hurt the people around me. The problem is that a man can only take so much, and eventually the negativity bubbles over like a pot left on the stove too long. I have to release these feelings somewhere, not just for my loved ones' sake but also for my own sanity. When I yell at a video game over something relatively minor (perhaps a missed sword slice in The Witcher, or a critical hit in Persona sending my main character to an early grave) it's more about getting out my frustrations built up over the course of the day than anything else. I've had friends look at me awkwardly when I yell at a game and then turn it off and return to the couch with a giant smile on my face. I've tried to play games without getting angry, but I've seen the pot boil over in my regular life as a result. I have to be emotional when I play video games because it helps me deal with the trials of everyday life. I'd rather yell at Link or Solid Snake than my loved ones, as fictional characters can never be hurt like those with beating hearts and real feelings. You may call my ravings childish, but I call them therapeutic.

Read More:
Anger - by Robert Steinman Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain - by Kimberley Wallace Catharsis - by Stephen Meyerink Bad Attitudes - by Bob Richardson Depression and OCD - by Kyle E. Miller

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