Overcoming gaming anger

Image: Headphone Meditation by Illusive Mind

Playing Steel Diver has got me thinking about a problem that some gamers undoubtedly tackle at times: frustration or flat-out rage. My brothers and I can’t play Super Smash Bros. Brawl together without screaming at each other at some point. Being the older, more mature one, I generally try to keep my cool, but the unpleasant feeling (like a flame in the gut) inevitably comes, whether I let it out or not. Steel Diver is another example of a game that can really push the limits of my short fuse.

What is it about these games that makes us want to throw whatever we’re holding into the nearest wall? How can we prevent or defuse that rage? Read on to discover the answers from someone who has broken more than just Wii remote wrist-straps!

To answer these troubling questions, I will refer to The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. A few days ago, I reached the lair of the second boss: Fraaz. Zelda bosses tend to have obvious weak points. Fraaz is no exception. Well, I lost against him on my first try. “Okay,” I thought to myself, “now I definitely know how to beat him. It’s that tricky third stage.” So I tried again. My idea on how to best Fraaz in the third stage of the fight didn’t work. I lost again. That is the point at which I could have lost control. But I didn’t. Why? Because the single ounce of reason that I had left in me spoke: “Don’t try to beat this boss again, Holly.” I quit playing, and it wasn’t long before I felt good sense and calm return.

Next time I face Fraaz, I can do so with my wits about me. If I can offer just one bit of solid advice: it’s okay to get angry while playing video games: just learn to listen to that voice of reason, no matter how small it is. It might save you a TV screen, or a copy of Pokemon Stadium 2 (am I getting too specific?), or your very pride.

Have any advice? Brave enough to share your own story? Here’s one gamer who’s open to any comments!