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Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Cultivating Connection Through Play: Our Cozy Night In with Video Games

What did the gamer couple say when they were asked how they keep their relationship strong? "We level up together."

 Last night, like many others my partner and I spent the evening snuggled up on the couch, playing video games together. As we work our way through levels, solve puzzles, and defeated bosses, we laugh, joke, and cheer each other on. It is a simple but intimate time that reminds us of the importance of spending quality time together. While we both have been known to boast some impressive button-mashing abilities, it is Angela's cheerful attitude and charming personality that makes our gaming sessions a joyful experience.

Whenever I mention that I enjoy gaming, people always assume I'm glued to World of Warcraft or Call of Duty and neglecting Angela. But the truth is, by playing games we neglect all sorts of things together! 😜From Mario Kart to Panzer Dragoon Saga, we'll take on any game as a team. It's all part of our healthy relationship balance, you know?

Gaming is not merely an escapade from reality; it can also serve as a form of "flow" - a psychological state that occurs when one is fully immersed in an activity, resulting in a feeling of enjoyment and contentment. This flow state can promote bonding between individuals and improve their mood and well-being.

In a world where we're often pulled in a million different directions, it can be difficult to find time to connect with our loved ones. But as the philosopher Aristotle once said, "Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies." Playing video games together is one way we cultivate that friendship and deepen our bond.

While our love for gaming may not be shared by all, some even calling it a "frivolous pastime", it is a way for us to create fond memories and strengthen our bond. In the words of the philosopher Plato, "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Gaming can bring out facets of our personalities that might not be evident in other contexts, allowing us to build a deeper understanding of each other.

Video games can serve an important purpose in our lives. For instance, playing video games has been shown to boost cognitive function, increase creativity, and improve problem-solving skills. So not only are we having fun while playing games with our loved ones, but we're also secretly becoming smarter and more innovative in the process. But don't take my word for it (Despite the innate heterogeneity of the field of study) , a meta-analysis of 116 studies published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that playing video games can improve cognitive skills such as attention, spatial reasoning, and perception.

But it's our enthusiastic attitude and willingness to participate make an integral part of our gaming experience. Our shared presence uplifts our gaming sessions, bringing a delightful sense of camaraderie that we cherish.

So here's to our love of gaming, and to Angela my partner in this enjoyable endeavor. Thank you Angela for allowing for a "flow" of enjoyment, and for bringing a unique and cherished energy to our gaming sessions.


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