Calming Video Video games for Adults with ADHD: Actual Time Technique
Video games have always been something I enjoyed as a kid. My brother and I played our fair share on the Playstation and Xbox, and even as adults, we’ll be quick to enjoy every co-op game we can find this Christmas.
As an adult with seemingly endless responsibilities, chores, and jobs, I’m now less inclined to spend 20 minutes of my actual day playing video games that send me from one side of the map to the other to meet characters that I never meet will remember. As soon as a game tells me to do its laundry and get things for it, my interest-driven ADHD brain is out.
Even so, I’ve found a video game genre that actually helps clear out my brain, especially when I feel like stress is building up or when I need to relax after an intense day of hyperfocus: Real Time Strategy (RTS).
[Read: How Animal Crossing Became My Pandemic Therapy]
As kids, Age of Empires II was the only game we had that didn’t overwhelm our old computer. For me, AoE and similar RTS games are still the only ones I play on PC.
Most RTS games start out the same way – with a few workers building a colony and then helping you progress through the research stages until you can afford to build a powerful army and wipe out everyone else on the map completely . The often overlooked final destination usually involves some kind of war crime, but there is something very relaxing about gradually dominating the map or just enjoying the fake worlds and drama.
During the pandemic, I experienced manageable levels of anxiety, stress and sometimes depression. Going to the stores at some point was the only thing I could do when I was home alone, and even that made me ring like a squash ball.
For my ADHD brain, the process of building my base and economy and then using them to absolutely destroy all attackers brings me a sense of order, process, achievement and thus calm.
[Read: 7 ADHD Relaxation Techniques]
Over time, I’ve reconnected to these simple games and it was really nice to have that little sense of control restored. It gives me an hour to escape and immerse myself in interactive fiction that is orderly and free of real worries, and for me this is not a waste of time at all.
Soothing Video Games: The Next Steps
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Updated May 10, 2021
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