Video game controllers are expensive. Especially since the Xbox One / PlayStation 4 generation where the official controllers sell for more than 70$...
Nobody wants to feel the ridiculous humiliation that follows throwing a controller at the wall. Even less when it is destroyed, and you have to pay a high price to replace it.
Yes, I once was that person, but it was a long time ago. As far as I remember, it was in 1988 with my NES controller.
I was frustrated to have been killed for the 28th time by the Giant Crab boss of Blaster Master and lost my last life in the snow world of Contra (best game EVER).
Exasperated by this too frequent situation, my parents strongly recommended that I learn to calm my nerves or else I would have to put my console away in a secret place.
Therefore, I had to learn to relax a little. And today, I decided to share some of my relaxation techniques with you, my lucky ones, to help you calm down and reduce your "controller budget," too...
My relaxation techniques developed over the years
Lesson one: change of scenery you must do
I've noticed that every time I die in a video game, the moment my character takes his last breath, I move in my chair, breathing hard and looking up to the sky.
Usually, I manage to avoid swearing as much as possible (not always easy, I agree) and of course... I don't throw my controller anymore.
The lesson I have learned over time is that you have to take a step back to jump forward. There's no point in immediately restarting the game if, after dying, I get more and more impatient and tend to rush my actions, which leads me to make more mistakes. On the other hand, waiting a bit turned out to be a good relaxation technique.
For a single-player game, my solution is to shut down the console and TV and do something else, telling myself I'll come back to it when I'm calmer.
If the temperature outside allows it, I apply the relaxation technique par excellence to go out and get some fresh air.
Result: when I re-launch my game, I almost always succeed on the first try!
Lesson two: what you start, you must finish
If you are in the middle of an online multiplayer game, it is always possible to make a brilliant "rage quit," but I don't recommend it.
Firstly, you receive (depending on the game) a penalty applied by the game, and secondly, it is a move that can be very frustrating for other players.
When I'm in a multiplayer game where nothing goes right and I have that feeling of serving as cannon fodder for the other players, I still finish the game (while cursing), then I go back to the home menu, making sure to drop my controller quickly.
When it’s done, I close my eyes and apply the relaxing breathing technique.
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War
The last time my girlfriend saw me doing this in the living room, she laughed! "What are you doing?” I replied, "I'm just chilling out before kicking the shit out of the other players!”
She laughed out loud, and... I still put on a solid performance in the next part!
Lesson Three: Thou shalt snack
The ultimate anti-stress relaxation technique: eating and drinking!
I remember a moment where, sitting in my gaming zone, I was staring at the pantry, thinking at full speed, trying to remember if I had a big bowl of my favourite cereal left.
What I like about this type of snack on my gaming nights is that while I'm having a bowl of cereal, I'm eating and drinking simultaneously! Now that's efficiency! It was good; it took the edge off, it relaxed me, and everything was fine.
The bottom line is that it is a relaxation technique like any other. The important thing, in my opinion, is to be able to mentally and physically unplug from a frustrating game.
Let me share this slice of life with you: if you play Outriders or any other 100% connected game as I do, pay attention to where your character is in the game when you let go of the controller! There are safe places where enemies don't go and others where you will always be in danger, whether you are on "pause" or not.
Do you know what I mean?
During a recent game of Outriders, I pressed the "start" button, thinking that I had paused the game out of habit. But, unfortunately, by the time I went to get a bowl of cereal and returned to my living room, I found my hero lying dead on the floor.
The enemies nearby had taken care of him while I was away! Aaaaargh! It was an excellent opportunity to breathe and practice my relaxation technique...
I would love to tell you that to preserve my "zenitude," I have four massage therapists massaging my muscles during my games of Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and that my bare feet bathe in a small pool filled with fish that eat dead skin around my toes, but I don't. So I, probably like you, have to find other relaxation techniques.
By the way, I’d like to hear from you, to know what your ultimate relaxation technique is.
Who knows, maybe I can add it to my humble arsenal of anti-stress techniques and talk about it on the next episode of my podcast!