Blasting through stress

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Chase Sousa
  • 17th Training Public Affairs
It’s been a long day and all I want to do is relax and forget about it, but how? Video-games are my answer.

The day’s stressors melt away as I pick up a controller and start to blast away enemies, play as a medieval knight, create my own worlds or explore a galaxy far far away.

I was first introduced to gaming when I received a Gameboy Color for my 5th birthday party. At such a young age, it was mind blowing to turn a tiny machine on and see a new world. Video games have been a part of my life have helped me cope with difficult situations ranging from a hard day at school to dealing with my parents’ divorce.

When dealing with physical or emotional pain, video games can be a sufficient coping mechanism for most people. Like a book, video games offer a chance to escape the outside world, which can be especially useful after a serious injury or dealing with a traumatic experience according to

16 years later and I’m still using video games to cope. The transition from civilian to Airman is far from easy, and every day presents its own unique challenges from physical fitness, work performance, socialization, personal relationships, moving, changing leadership and more. By sitting down and experiencing a new world, my thoughts become organized and my mind calms.

Of course too much of anything is a detriment to one’s health and video games should be enjoyed in moderation just like anything else. Modern scientific studies directly contradict most common misconceptions of video games like playing video games will make you violent, only children play games, games aren’t a form of expression or games are socially isolating.

According to a 2010 study at Texas A&M University conducted by Associate Professor Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson, both men and women who play violent video games long-term seem to be able to adopt mental skills to handle stress, become less depressed and get less hostile during real life stressful tasks.

Through video games I cope, find solace, reduce stress and improve my mood. It is a hobby and a passion I will carry forever.