In chapter 13 of “How to do things with Video Games”, author Ian Bogost examines the role of relaxation in video gaming. Bogost begins by reflecting on how video games are a truly interactive media – that is, they often require you to process what’s going on in the game and respond in a meaningful way. Consequently, video games can be mentally and emotionally taxing in a way that television shows, movies, and practically every other form of media can’t. He does see some promise in games that are more zen-like; that is, they follow the idea of Japanese zen gardens, where there are only a few elements to interact with in a simple manner, allowing the user’s mind to wander as they “play”. These games, while still requiring the user to provide input, have simpler inputs than most games, and it’s goals are lessened to an extent that one can zone out while playing.
– Does the strain on your eyes caused by looking into bright screens change the idea of video games being relaxing?
– Will people want to play these kinds of games casually, or would it be more of a treatment sort of thing?