writing > play > gamethoughts
Last Updated: August 2014
1 minute read


Every so often I’m asked “what are the best games to play to…”

Stress relief? What do you do?

Life is a bitch. Shit happens. Breakups, grilled by your boss, making a mistake with the law, losing money, getting fired, loved ones passing on, etc. I need something that is a confluence of a couple things:

  • that I have the energy for
  • is capable of occupying my mind fully
  • eases me into the zone quickly without strong blocks
  • good performance should make me feel good, but bad performance shouldn’t make me feel bad – the process itself should be satisfying
  • shouldn’t make me feel like I wasted a bunch of time when I’m done

When is a job well done?

What makes a good learning activity?

Hobbies and non-academic pursuits have valuable skills and knowledge to impart. This isn’t news to anyone. Let’s try break down what they usually bring to the table and how that contributes to learning.

Pressure balance

The best lessons are learned when our adrenaline’s pumping, but not when we’re worried or stressed. To some extent, we can tweak our perception of the stress we experience. The amount of room to maneuver, however, depends heavily on the activity.

Engagement and focus

We learn more from an experience when we’re fully engaged in the experience. We also internalize lessons better when we’re focused. This is where interest, fun, interactivity and feedback come into play.

Social factors

Many of the challenges we face in life arise in social contexts - relationships, negotiations, understanding people’s needs, communicating. The more we learn while within in social contexts, the more applicable they will be in life.