I have a new addiction and it is both non-fattening and also good for my mental health. In fact, it comes in the shape of a computer game “Taonga: The Island Retreat”. If you are not a fan of computer games or even worse have the image of them being noisy and violent bare with me and I will explain why this game is neither of those things but even better it is actually therapeutic.
This addiction only began last Sunday when I discovered Facebook Gameroom which is downloadable as a separate piece of software. I have played various Facebook Games over the years like Farmville and Candy Crush but been a bit out of the habit recently. But as soon as I discovered Taonga I have been hooked.
Life Experiences through Virtual Reality
There have been people able to defend computer gaming as more than just a pleasant distraction for many years, including academics as in this article here. They talk about people finding games to be meaningful. For me, playing Taonga allows me to be productive and achieve things that would be simply impossible in the real world.
Let me explain. In the real world, I am desperately trying to declutter and organise our living space. I am not going to start explaining all the many benefits of doing that because let’s face it the information is everywhere. I can personally recommend Alejandra. She has a vast range of fantastic free videos about organising but her Premium Programs have been particularly useful, especially the new Simplessity program which is very insightful and dedicated to reducing the amount of possessions you own.
The difficulties of living in the real world when you have Fibro
This “real world” decluttering process is going to take me a very long time. It involves finding the spare energy to “do things” and it the project proves bigger than I imagined it causes real pain, potentially even a full Fibro Flare up. Therefore I have to work on small spaces, one draw at a time.
This causes its own set of frustrations. The more I can see around me that needs doing the more I want to crack on and complete tasks, which in turn constantly forces the limitations of the Fibromyalgia under my nose. Which if I am not careful can lead to Depression which I talked about last week.
How Taonga allows me to escape from it all
When I play Taonga I can really achieve things. If you are totally familiar with this game it is set on a tropical island and you need to clear the island of excess trees then grow crops, plant fruit trees, raise livestock and erect buildings. Yes, for many people this may at best be a pleasant distraction and I fear other people may go as far as saying it is a waste of time. But for me it allows me to see progress happening in front of me. One week in and I have achieved a decent sized clearing with many working buildings and productive animals and trees. I am achieving something and all it has taken me physically is some clicks of a mouse (and at times a lot of patience waiting for vital things to grow).
If you have a chronic health condition and struggle to feel you can achieve very much maybe the virtual world could give you a sense of satisfaction too. If you know someone who you feel spends too long living in the virtual world perhaps there is a reason for this and they too have some physical or mental problems living in the real world too.
Do let me know your thoughts on computer games and if they have helped you in some way.