According to a 2009 Annual Review of Cybertherapy and Telemedicine study, people who play video games find relief from stress because they are able to vent their feelings as they play. According to the study, the people who benefited the most were Type A personalities who found that video games allowed them to enter into a calm state of mindlessness which prevented them from stressful arousal. As you concentrate on a game, the exciting sounds and stimulating images distract your mind from its habitual worries.
Classic Arcade Games
Many classic games were played in arcades before desktop computers became ubiquitous. These are the first games that came out and set the tone for more modern games. Despite the fact that games have evolved to higher levels of sophistication these still remain popular, often because they inspire nostalgia in early gamers. What's more, they remain highly engaging.
Pac Man was an established arcade game. Due to mass media exposure, it became a smashing hit in the United States. Its popularity arose from the fact that it was simple to understand, yet demanded enough skill to be entertaining.
It had little competition. The only alternatives were to shoot down space ships or play simulated sports games like pong. This game relieves stress because it offers a simple problem to solve that engages the mind.
Double Dragon was the first of the combat games. It was popular in the late 80s. Two twin brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, are on a quest to rescue Marian who has been kidnapped by the Black Warriors gang.
This game relieves stress because it offers a simple problem to solve that engages the mind and also because it is thoroughly entertaining. It's not easy to worry about your bills when there is a princess in dire need.
Dynasty Wars, which is called Tenchi wo Kurau in Japan, is another game with heroes and villains. As the hero in ancient China, your mission is to safeguard the three kingdoms.
This was one of the first games where a player could choose to be a certain character. This game relieves stress because it puts you in the frame of mind of an empowered hero defending his country.
Angry Birds has been a smashing success. It's addictive, comical, and completely silly. The main theme is that the angry birds fight off evil farm pigs. Played on gaming consoles, PCs, and mobile phones, it is the most downloaded game ever made with 2 billion downloads.
All three of these games relieve stress because they are entirely silly. It's very hard to take yourself seriously when you are in the midst of totally irrelevant problem solving.
Angry Birds Heroic Rescue
In Angry Bird's Heroic Rescue, a red angry bird must knock a bad green pig off a stone ledge that is floating in the air. This game relieves stress because the whole situation is remarkably absurd.
Angry Birds Ninja
In Angry Birds Ninja, a red angry bird flies in a storm of flying birds and animals. You get points for slashing the birds and animals with your laser sword, but get blown up if you slash a flying bomb. This game relieves stress because you are simultaneously trying to get points while avoiding trying to get blown up. It's hard to think of anything else.
Crazy Angry Birds
In Crazy Angry Birds, a red angry bird flys through the sky collecting coins. Hitting red coins increases points and hitting green coins reduces points. Similarly to Angry Birds Ninja, it's tough to worry about anything when you're focused on maximizing gains while simultaneously minimizing losses.
First developed in the early 80s, today's platform games are dazzling in their sophistication. The buzz name comes from the fact that characters are running, jumping, ducking, weaving, and fighting on different platforms. Mario Bros, Space Panic, and Donkey Kong, for instance, involved hyperactive characters on floors, ledges, and stairs doing their best to survive and win.
These games are relaxing because they are fast-paced. Your attention is completely diverted into helping the characters survive unexpected dangers while still striving to get ahead and win enough points to move up a new level.
Escape Goat is game by Ian Stocker. In this game, you are a smart puzzler with a cute and faithful mouse as your companion. This game engages your mind and gladdens your heart.
A shybot, as you may have guessed, is a socially-awkward robot. It's not easy being a shybot as you'll quickly discover when playing this game. It's difficult to feel stressed about anything when a shybot's well-being depends on your total attention.
N 2.0 is all about ninjas. These archetypal characters from ancient Japan have captured public imagination and no list of stress-relieving games would be complete without a game with ninjas. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to survive - and you will have to jump walls, avoid slicing lasers, and escape bursting missiles if you want to evolve to the next level. This game relieves real-world worries because a lapse of attention from your ninja could have fatal consequences for him.
Adventure games have thrived for more than 30 years. People love having virtual adventures in fantasy worlds. These games are very relaxing because they are truly immersive, with a dreamlike quality, a sensation you get when reading a good book or watching a compelling movie.
Samorost by Tove Jansson takes place on asteroids. As you wander around, poking objects, you discover charming creatures and strange objects. Things get very weird in space. This game relaxes your mind because you are constantly discovering new things to evoke a feeling of wonder and delight.
The Domovoi is a creature from Slavic folklore. He shares a narrative with you, but asks you to contribute to the unfolding folk story. This game is stress-relieving because you have to play an active part in shaping the story.
Gods Will Be Watching
Gods Will Be Watching is about surviving on a planet far from your native home on Earth. You have to ensure the survival of your entire group for 40 days. But you do have some help - specifically, the help of a dog, a robot, and some smart humans-an engineer, a doctor, a psychiatrist, and a soldier. This game is a good way to vent the frustrations of your daily life; after all, it takes a sharp mind to survive on an alien planet, help the group survive, and deal with the idiosyncrasy of your main characters.
Puzzle games are video games where you have to solve puzzles by using logic, recognizing patterns, solving sequences, and completing words. These games relieve stress because your mind is actively engaged in solving problems.
In GeoGuesser, you are shown a beautiful picture of a street or country scene and have to guess where in the world you are. Trying to look for clues on what country the scene might be in is engaging and relaxing.
I Am Level v1.0
I Am Level v1.0 is a game about mini golf, but with a twist. You're playing at Wonderputt, where you have to clear lily pads, miss UFOs, and putt across yawning craters. Cute animations and lavish scenes will enthrall you. This game is relaxing because it is hilarious and entertaining.
In Kingdom, you are a king on a quest to save your kingdom. You ride a horse and try to survive for 10 days. Your foes are thieving gnomes and your allies are helpful vagabonds. This game is very relaxing because you are traveling through an enchanting pixel atmosphere that has a dreamy, evocative quality to it.
Olav and the Lute
In Olav and the Lute, you are Olav, a character with a magical lute. You are surviving in a post-apocalyptic world and your color-coded strings affect the world around you. For instance, when you pluck a certain combination of strings, you'll be able to open doors. This game is relaxing because you are constantly delighted by surprises.
Meditative games, unlike the other games, are not goal-oriented. You are not on a mission or an adventure, nor do you have to survive, fight, or outwit anyone or anything. Instead, you can just allow yourself to enjoy the process of creating simple things.
These games are direct ways to relieve stress because they are soothing, rather like quilting or doing something simple and repetitive that does not require too much of your attention.
Virtual Bubble Wrap
In Virtual Bubble Wrap, you can pop bubble wrap to your heart's content to relieve stress. This game relieves stress because you are merely popping bubbles. It's simple and mindless. It's relaxing, helping to relieve antsy feelings.
In Meditation Flowers, your voice will make flowers grow. You can sing your flowers into exquisite designs. This game relieves stress because there is a certain creative joy in watching the flower morph into exquisite patterns.
In Kaleidoscope, you design your own beautiful designs. Again, like meditation flowers, there is a certain joy in creating something beautiful. It's hard to create beauty and feel stressed at the same time.
Forget Your Troubles
When you play online stress reliever games you are giving yourself a much-needed mental break. Essentially, you are entering into imaginary situations, whether it is playing with cartoon characters, figuring out enigmatic puzzles, fighting for survival on an alien world, or rescuing damsels in distress. It's hard to feel stressed about challenging real-life situations when you are on a fantasy mission that requires your skill and cunning to save the day.