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You can still be a gamer during school

by Robin Stanford September 15, 2015
You can still be a gamer during school

Here’s how you can balance homework and your gaming habits

With the first classes over and class obligations revealed, one big question remains: is it possible to continue video-gaming into the new semester or—like summer—is it something to be left behind?

Photo by Cristina Sanza.

Photo by Cristina Sanza.

Common wisdom states that there is simply no time to game and engage in all the responsibilities of life as a student. This view is generated through the understanding of gaming as something that takes up all of the player’s time and energy.

Common wisdom is wrong, for the most part.

Video games are a great way to disconnect from the high-pressure environment present in higher education. Through engaging in a different, non-academic activity, players are given a much-needed break to clear their heads. As a result, once the game session is over, they return to their studies with new enthusiasm for the tasks at hand. This is especially important near the end of a semester when students’ stress levels rise in proportion to finals.

Here are three simple tricks for gamers juggling university studies.

1) Avoid massively multiplayer online (MMO) or role playing games (RPG)

Although there is a huge allure to play the latest big name game—resist that urge. Many games being released are of the RPG variety with rich stories that promise hours of enjoyment. Unless someone is able to take a few days off to play such a title, the results may be disastrous.

Attempt to steer clear of any game in which will prove difficult to put down after a set period of time. The last thing any player wants is to realize that they have lost an entire day to a video game when an assignment is due in the morning.

In the same vein, this may not be the optimal time to renew a World of Warcraft subscription, or any other MMO. These games are designed to take up as much of the player’s time as possible.

There will be time for these types of games during the session break.

2) Aim for shooter platforms and casual games

Multiplayer shooters tend to be a good choice as all matches are timed. From Call of Duty to Splatoon, these games allow the player to blow-off steam without losing track of the clock. A word of warning about this type of game: players tend to have an easier time ending the play session after a win so consider taking a shorter play session if on a hot streak.

Platformers similarly have good exit points; after every level the player has the choice of putting it away or continuing on to a new challenge. Levels tend to be short and the player can have a sense of accomplishment after every session. These games tend to be lighter on story—such as  in the Super Mario games, it doesn’t matter if the princess is in another castle.

Finally, as casual games are designed for players who are not used to gaming, they tend to try and fit in with everyday life. Games such as Bejeweled can be played on almost any device, and are made to be played on the way to work.

3) Revisit old classics

University is a great time to revisit classic games played years ago. As the story is already known, there is no problem putting it down before a story arc concludes. Putting down Final Fantasy VII isn’t as intimidating when you know what the twists are beforehand, for example.

As always it is very important to be aware of your needs and tendencies when gaming. Some find games to be a great way to take a break from writing essays, while others use them as a reward after completing an assignment. No matter how you game, you can still enjoy it during the school semester!

Have you played a video game recently that everyone should pick up or ignore? Let us know! We are looking for game reviews to be featured in a later issue.

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