Coping with Fibromyalgia Through Gaming

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Not all forms of relief come in bottles or a type of therapy. Sometimes you gotta just sit down, grab a controller, and start gaming your way through the chronic pain. Many people are learning that gaming is a very real option to release stress and deal with chronic illness, so here are tips for coping with fibromyalgia through gaming.

Coping with Fibromyalgia Through Gaming #beingfibromom #thatgamingdad #fibromyalgia #gaming
image created by Brandi Clevinger using the stock photo from Unsplash
A fun way to cope with #fibromyalgia and #chronicpain is through #gaming! Check out this video about how to game even if you've never picked up a controller before. #beingfibromom #thatgamingdad #fibroparenting Click To Tweet

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Nintendo: Pure Gold

I grew up in the decade when Nintendo was first released, and I LOVED this new form of entertainment! Arcade games have always fascinated me up to that point, so having an interactive gaming console in my very own home was beyond the moon exciting for me! (Fun fact: Nintendo was founded in September 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi in Kyoto, Japan, and was first a playing card company. Read more.)

And just before the SUPER Nintendo was released, my parents divorced. The weekends at my dad’s house was fun, but when the Super NES hit the shelves, it got a whole lot better! I still remember that trip to Toys R Us when my dad stood in the electronics section and said to us (somewhere along the lines of), “Hey, girls, y’all want to get a Super Nintendo? What do y’all think?” We were so excited!! He even got us a game or two to go with it.

My younger sister and me.

That started a trend for me. Pretty soon my grandmother had bought my sister and me the new Sega Genesis for my bedroom. It seemed like every week I had a new game for it, and I would stay up all hours of the night trying to beat each game. My favorite game was Krusty’s Super Fun House in which you went through the funhouse trying to get the rats out of each room by figuring out the puzzle.

I treasured those gaming consoles and games. It was a way to get my mind off my parent’s divorce and whatever else was plaguing my young mind at the time. It wasn’t long until my dad picked up a controller in an attempt to connect with us the best way he knew how. I still chuckle to myself when I think of him learning to play, moving his whole body while holding the controller trying to get Mario to “jump, dammit, jump”. Good memories.

Coping with Fibromyalgia Through Gaming

When I was serving in the military, I again used gaming as a way to relax and release stress. Now that I’m older, I use other ways to do it, but my friend, Ted, has reminded me of all the benefits of gaming. Including the benefits of connecting with my kids through gaming – the same as how my dad connected with my sister and me all those years ago.

During a recent interview with Ted, he shared his story of living with chronic conditions and how That Gaming Dad was created. He tells us all the ways to get your kids involved with video games and how to become engaged with gaming even if you’ve never picked up a controller.

Board Games Count, Too

Board games count as gaming, too. They may not be as extensive as an online game, but just as there are a bountiful amount of virtual games, there are countless board games, too. From short two-player games to extended games with numerous players, board games have come a long way since their creation in….whatever year it was. Hmmm…now I’m on the hunt….5000 BC?! Wow!!! Check out this article about The Full History of Board Games.

I’ve recently added Exploding Kittens to our gaming collection thanks to the recommendation from my oldest son. He and his dad love to play this game and I quickly released why. It’s quick to learn, can be two or more players, the gameplay is quick, and we cracked up with laughter during each play. It’s fun!

While I’m DC last week for Fibromyalgia Advocacy Day, I got this new card game: Exploding Kittens. We LOVE it!! It’s hilarious and lots of fun to play! See more insights into daily life over on my Instagram page – Being Fibro Mom.

We have simple board games like Sorry! to more extensive board games like Dead of Winter in which gameplay can be an hour or more. Here’s a quick video about the top board games we love to play. (My favorite is Ticket to Ride.)

Brandi

Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

4 thoughts on “Coping with Fibromyalgia Through Gaming

  • June 12, 2020 at 7:03 am
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    Great Post! I find gaming so therapeutic and it really helps distract me. I’m currently playing Animal Crossing and Zelda Breath of the Wind because they really offer escapism and I can play with hours without realising. It is great for those slow days when you just need to get to the next day.

    Reply
    • June 12, 2020 at 2:58 pm
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      My oldest daughter LOVES those two games! I tried playing the Zelda game (on the switch lite) and I do like it. Now I want a console so I can play it on the big screen. haha The small Switch screen hurts my eyes.

      Reply
  • June 12, 2020 at 10:10 am
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    Love it I have a Nintendo switch and I am going to get Minecraft which means I can play with the kids while they are upstairs and I play on my switch with them downstairs as I can no longer get upstairs. Here its consoles galore as they are therapy for my ASD son and my mentally ill hubby & also relaxation for me

    Reply
    • June 12, 2020 at 2:57 pm
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      That’s a great idea! My oldest son lives with his dad in Virginia and I’m in South Carolina. We play games online together, too.

      Reply

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