Don’t Feel Bad About the Video Game Getting You Through Quarantine
And Using Minecraft as Meditation
For years I had watched my best friend play Minecraft and build when he was stressed out. He suggested I try the game, and while I was always interested, I felt like I no longer had the time for games and that my time as a computer enthusiast was dwindling. I felt more attached to the “real world.” When I met my current partner, I watched them play Minecraft so much that the intrigue bubbled up inside me, and I remembered my best friend telling me how much I would enjoy the game. I decided to invest in the game about a year ago, over Christmas, so that my partner and I could play together even though we were a great distance apart. Once I started playing, I was so glad I had invested and downloaded the game. I am someone who finds it difficult to relax, even though I am fond of movement and meditation, like yoga. When I play Minecraft, between the calming music and the ability to be as creative as I’d like, I know it’s my special time with myself to relax. I love playing in creative mode, because I can literally create the world of my dreams, but I’ve even come to enjoy survival mode because I get to spend my life in game harvesting crops and going on adventures, like I would like to in real life. Minecraft has become one of my ways of meditating, and I hope that when creating my world in game, it’s helping me to solidify the type of world I want to manifest for myself.
Interestingly, video games aren’t actually all that bad. In fact, Gabrielle Lichterman, founder of Hormonology, creator of the Hormone Horoscope Apps, and author of 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals About Your Love Life, Mood, and Potential, states that during menstruation, because oestrogen is low but rising and testosterone is more prominent, spatial skills are improved, and regularly doing activities which use spatial skills will strengthen them throughout the whole cycle. Video games such as Tetris and Minecraft involve using spatial skills because they require the ability to rotate images in your head. Scroll to the end for more information on Gabrielle Licheterman's work.
While there have been studies recently conducted which prove that children are more capable of identifying Pokemon characters than local flora and fauna, and it is reasonable for children’s screen time to be monitored, plenty of teenagers, young adults, and millennials will very likely have been spending lots of their time in quarantine playing video games and that’s okay, even if the game isn’t improving spatial skills. Game artists work meticulously to create immersive environments designed to evoke emotional response. Even Minimalist artists use the pixel to evoke sublime and divine feelings and to provoke thought about the universe. While it might be seen as escapism, it is important to recognise that the artists involved in the creation of the games we’re playing at this time have dedicated their time to providing us with places to escape to at times like these when the outside world can feel so scary and uncertain. If you are feeling bad about using lockdown to appreciate game worlds and get enjoyment from video games, please, don’t. Just remember to get up and stretch every so often, too.
How to make a meditation out of playing Minecraft:
This can be done whether you are playing in creative or survival mode.
Make sure you are listening to music that you enjoy, whether that is the calming music provided by the game or music of your own choice, and that you are in comfortable clothes and seated comfortably.
Find a spot you’d like to build in, but don’t spend too long trying to find the perfect spot.
Envision the home you’d like to live in in real life, and start creating it.
You can also think about the lifestyle you want to live, and cultivate it through Minecraft. If you want to live sustainably, farming some crops in game is a great way to meditate on the idea of growing your own food one day.
As you create in game or practice sustainably living, concentrate on connecting to your inner self.
The meditation is over whenever you decide to save and quit, or can be ended when you decide to do something different in game.