Meditation tends to attract all kinds of people that are on a path to bettering themselves, and gamers are no exception. But how well does meditation go with gaming, are they compatible?
I’ll get into the two sides of the coin, since gaming can actually be good for some people, helping them with real-life accomplishments, whereas some use it as an escape, and thus, it becomes a self-destructive habit.
Meditation can indeed make you a more skilled player, especially if you’re immersed in the game, and the more you enjoy doing something, the easier it gets to improve at what you’re doing.
The question is, is it even worth it to get better at video games? For some, it is, since that’s where they find happiness and fulfillment. But on the flip side, that same time could also be spent developing a skill you can monetize for life.
Now, that’s not to say that the same can’t be done with gaming, but at least, when you combine meditation and gaming, you can actually become more detached from gaming if that is your goal, since meditation on its own is a great way to break addictions.
But there are some pros and cons to using meditation in conjunction with gaming, and I’ll expand on those below.
Enjoying The Gaming More
One of the upsides of combining meditation with gaming is that it can make you enjoy the games you play more, rather than seeing the games as an escape from the present. Because unfortunately, it’s common to see games as an escape and not deal with the present situation that’s causing a certain pain in question.
On the flip side, video games have saved many when they’ve hit rock bottom, so that escape might only be temporary, in which case, it can be a good step in the right direction.
However, there are those who use gaming as a way to escape but aren’t immersed in the gaming experience and don’t necessarily get any sort of fulfillment from it, at which point, meditation can come in handy since it helps you to become immersed in what you are doing and by extension, enjoy what you are doing to a higher degree.
So it’s a bit like a double edge sword, since being in the stage when you’re immersed in the gaming experience, and then snap out of it, it can feel like all things revert to not being joyful as they were before you started playing.
Video games can provide a substantial amount of external joy, but that joy always has the risk of being short-lived, whereas meditation can provide the joy that comes from within and by extension, it lasts longer.
Gaming as a Form of Meditation
There’s nothing wrong with gaming in itself, it’s more like a tool that can either do more good than harm or more harm than good, depending on how you use it.
If you’re present in the gaming, not attached, and are able to see it as its own recreational activity, it can actually be a very healthy way to disconnect from the world for a bit, relax and replenish.
For some, gaming is a form of meditation and it might be the only way they can meditate. I wouldn’t call it a very healthy meditation, since you do depend on something external to complete your meditation, but it can be a great way to start and allows you to get a glimpse of the practice.
Video Game Achievements vs. Real Life Achievements
If you’re leveling up your video game character, you might get a sense of accomplishment at some point. But if you compare the sense of accomplishment of your in-game character and your real-life achievements, and you don’t see them matching up, it can certainly feel disappointing. But it’s always within you to change that.
Most, if not everyone would like to mimic their in-game achievements in real life-achievements. Real-life achievements will always be more fulfilling than in-game achievements, but most aren’t willing to admit this to themselves, which often prevents change in the first place.
Many even turn to video games when they are in a bad spot to get some sense of accomplishment, but it usually fades and is a quick fix. However, even those in-game achievements can be a great way to propel real-life achievements through meditation.
Using Video Games To Your Benefit With Meditation
The good thing about gaming is that it gives us a perspective of what being present means. I personally like to see my life a bit like a video game as a way to be present, and me being the character of that game.
Not thinking about what’s about to come but about doing a quest at hand to get to the next point, so in a way, video games can provide that structure that can be used for our benefit when we are meditating and outside of meditation, since meditation on its own helps us to live in the present moment.
If you start seeing life as a video game and approach life the same way you approach in-game achievements, you might find it easier to stay ahead and walk in the right direction.
Both meditation and video games can be used to boost your creativity. And by extension, boost your problem-solving skills.
Those who start playing video games at an early age might get an additional boost in creativity, just like if you start meditation at an early age, the easier it is to condition your mind to walk the right path, as opposed to doing a lot of reprogramming of the subconscious later on.
But meditation can be beneficial to you, no matter how old you are. If you find yourself with more ideas and thinking being more solution-oriented after playing video games and meditating, keep at it by all means.
However, if you find that you only get a false, temporary sense of fulfillment from playing video games, meditation in itself helps you detach from the habit. Meditation does help you after all with replacing habits that don’t serve a purpose to you and instead, integrating habits that put you closer to your goals.
You might realize after meditating that video games don’t bring you any genuine satisfaction, but if you don’t know yourself and are only being led by the mind, you’re often gonna have a clouded judgment of what fills you and what doesn’t, because your mind might make the idea of doing something very appealing, only to make you feel depleted by the end of it.
Creativity can come in many different forms, but if you’re more creative, you could end up being better at certain video games that require creativity and it can be an additional means to develop your mind.
Finding a Sweet Spot: Video Games and Meditation
Since meditation helps you detach from things, and helps you find yourself, it might also help you to find a sweet spot for the amount of gaming that is right for you.
As I previously mentioned, video games can feel very relaxing, often mimicking the effects of meditation. I say this coming from the perspective of meditating a lot and playing certain farming games that made me feel so relaxed it often brought similar feelings to when I meditated, in the sense of being immersed in the experience.
But the relaxation doesn’t necessarily derive from a certain genre of video games since everyone is different and some will get a sense of peace from more intense video games. But a good place to be in is when you find a sweet spot when you are no longer attached, and can drop the gaming at any moment but just see it as an addition to your meditation session.