A Good Distraction (Today’s Simple Pleasure)

With national and global events heading into a tailspin, I’m finding myself seeking out ways to engage my mind that do not involve worrying, planning or taking action. Although I am taking events seriously and have created several posts recently that speak to the deliberations and reactions I’m having, staying in a gloom and doom state for extended periods of time will only lead me to respond in unhealthy ways. So, I’ve found myself “gaming” more than I have in a long time.

I put gaming in quotes because I do not even own a television, much less a gaming system. I’m basically one step removed from a paper-and-pencil crossword in terms of what I find enjoyable. Too many bells and whistles overstimulates my mind and I get a headache. I dislike most board games as well and find myself immensely bored by the rigidity of the schema under which they operate. In general, I prefer games that are either entirely word-based or that involve abstract, image-based strategy.

My current favorites include the NY Times Tiles and Mini-Crossword games. I’ve also downloaded the apps Word Search and Tiny Bubbles. I’ve yet to venture into games that involve communicating with other players; I suspect, based on how much I’ve hated board game-themed parties, that I would not be a fan. I find it fascinating to consider how our brains approach human-made puzzles in different ways, with some of us enthralled and others of us wanting more nature-based experiences. To what extent do you consider yourself a gamer? What types of games, if any, do you enjoy? How does your brain respond to mental puzzles and challenges?

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