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The article makes a really good distinction on “escapist” gaming – gaming to escape or avoid IRL problems- which can exacerbate feeling of anxiety and lonliness when overdone and a sort of purposeful gaming – to work on creativity or high pressure situations.
This tracks for me personally. When i play aimlessly (ha) because i’ve had a bad day and i need to blow things up, there’s a definite shift between “Ok, i feel better” and “ugh I feel shitty again”. But when I’m playing because I want to learn a mechanic better, or I want to see where the story goes, I don’t really hit the feeling low part again.
(sometimes escapist play is what we all need! But sometimes it can be like “1 twinkie satisfies sugar craving. 14 twinkies makes me puke”)