3 Video Games That Helped My Mental Health


I’ve been playing video games since I was very young. My dad has always been very into computers and gaming, so I picked it up from him, and then my younger brother picked it up from both of us. So now there’s 3/4 of us in my family who have the gaming bug. I’ll admit, I don’t game very much any more (I don’t have the time or the motivation) but I wish I did.

I remember in secondary school I’d come home from school, get changed, and then rush to the ‘playroom’ in my house where the computers were kept. I’d sit in there with my brother until bedtime, and I’d always have a cup of tea and 4 digestive biscuits. It was a routine, which definitely helped in my later years of secondary school when things got harder for me. You’ll notice a theme in the 3 video games I’ve picked which helped me during my hard times, and they’re all mostly mainstream so you should be familiar with them all already, even if you don’t game as such.

1. Fallout 4. 

If you like killing massive monsters, collecting too much stuff and carrying it around with you for no reason, and talking to all sorts of characters which you will probably kill anyway – then this is the game for you! Fallout 4 is part of the Fallout series, which consists of 5 Fallout games (not including the spin-offs). I’ve only played 3 of them, as the first two are different types of games that I wouldn’t play, and also they were released in my first two years of life – bit young to be playing Fallout I think.

The idea of the Fallout series as a whole is that you are survivor of a nuclear bomb, because in some way (it changes each game) you were rescued by a vault, or other means. The rest of the games are you exploring the maps, looking around for resources, completing different quests, and in Fallout 4 – building your own shelter. There’s a different base story in each game, which keeps it interesting. I will admit that personally, Fallout 4 isn’t the best game in the series. For me I would vote for Fallout: New Vegas which has a slightly different feel to the other two games I’ve played of the series. However, I’ve had the most play time on Fallout 4 mainly because there’s so much to do. I play games quite quickly, I kind of zoom through them and then go back afterwards and play it properly to do all the side quests, but Fallout 4 took me at least 50 hours of gameplay to ‘zoom’ through.

The main reason I loved Fallout 4 so much was because it kept me occupied. There was lots to do at all times, if you weren’t building a base or building guns, you were doing quests or talking to companions. There were lots (I mean, loads) of different environments to explore, some more risky than others. You could customise your character really well, which when you read my next game choice you’ll realise why I loved it so much. On top of all that, you get amazing power armour? Like, look at it. It’s so cool.  

From a game reviewer point of view, the game has mixed reviews on Steam. I think it’s because Fallout 4 has a lot of different aspects which may have taken away from the original feel of Fallout 4, and overcast a good story line and good dialogue. Fallout 4 is the first game in the series where each character has an actual voice actor, there’s a lot more to do, a lot bigger map, and you can make your own base. Sadly, that means that some of the great things about the other games have been lost. Personally, I didn’t think the dialogue was that bad, a bit clunky at times maybe but it wasn’t enough to deter me from the game or break the story. 

The main reason Fallout 4 helped me with my bad days was because it was a good distraction. I could immerse myself into the game enough that I’d forget my problems, and focus on my characters problems. I’d even notice myself thinking about what I was going to do on Fallout 4 when I got home, during the day. I did get attached to my characters, because I spent SO MANY hours on their lives.
You can buy Fallout 4 here: CLICK ME
Or on Steam here: CLICK ME

       2.  Sims 4.

Sims 4… who doesn’t know the Sims series? I’m pretty sure I don’t even have to introduce it, because everyone at least knows what it is, even if they haven’t played it. A quick overview – you make a character and maybe the characters family, and live their life for them instead of living your own. For hours on end, possibly a whole day…(Not that I did that).

It’s on this list for a lot of the same reasons as Fallout 4, which is what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned the reoccurring theme. I’ve bought most of the expansion packs mainly because Sims 4 base game is soooo boring without them. I was quite disappointed when I bought the base game because it felt so empty and not like Sims 3 did at all. Sims 3 was so lively and there was so much to do in the base game that you didn’t need to buy the expansion packs to get the ‘I’m going to play Sims for this entire day’ type of feel. Regardless, I still bought most of the Sims 4 expansion packs because I’m an idiot and got way too attached to the characters I made to let them be bored!

I’ll be talking about Sims 4 with the expansions I already have, since I can hardly remember what’s in the base game alone, it’s that boring to me. I’ve bought all of the stuff packs, game packs, and expansion packs up until ‘Cats and dogs’ came out and then I ran out of money. I am planning on buying it in the future, but personally I think that ones a bit of a rip off. Anyway, that’s off track. I’ve currently got a grand total of 200 hours on Sims 4, which really puts into light how addicted I get to the game. I’m like everyone else in the fact that I spend 4 months playing it non-stop and then don’t go on it for a year because I’ve burned myself out. However, last year I played it a lot more because of my mental illness, and I started doing Sims 4 Challenges. The challenges added a whole new level of addiction to the game for me because most of them are legacy challenges, meaning you play one family all the way through each generation, kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.

I started a family from one sim called Ivy, who was the founder of my legacy. I played her family all the way through to 6 generations, by which point I had played Sims 4 non-stop, apart from sleeping, for 3 weeks. It’s crazy how attached you can get to these sims, and I loved to be able to do that. The reason Sims has helped me so much over the years is because there are endless possibilities. You can be anyone you want and do whatever you want and there aren’t many consequences (a controversial point to the game, but I like it), which was completely different to my real life.
You can buy Sims 4 here: CLICK ME 

3. Minecraft.

Okay so I know what you’re thinking. Minecraft happened ages ago Chaz, catch up. Listen, I get it, I’m old fashioned and I like to be able to mind numbingly place cubes in a square to make a house, sheesh.

If you don’t know what Minecraft is (where have you been), it is honestly just using a lot of cubes to make a lot of different things. When Minecraft first came out, I remember my brother and dad played it way before me, and they taught me how to play it. It was a very different game back then, with a lot less features than now, but it was SO FUN. I don’t know what it is about it that makes it so fun, but it just is. I think it’s the ability to be able to completely clock out of your mind and just stare at a screen with a blank expression whilst placing sand into a hole in the ground.

There’s obviously more to it than that, including the building and mining aspects, but for me the most fun part of Minecraft is exploring. You know what’s going to be in that cave 4 maps over from your house, it’s the same things that is in the cave 4 steps over from your house, but you still travel all that way anyway. Minecraft only got better throughout the years with the added features, objects, monsters, etc. It’s another one of the games that you play for 5 weeks straight and then don’t go on it until the next year. The problem with Minecraft, for me, is that there’s only so much you can do before it gets repetitive. At least with the Sims 4, the basis of the game is the same but you can make it into anything you want. Of course, you can build anything you want in Minecraft and play the game to meet your own style; but for me I only have one style of gameplay. Mine enough stuff to make a house, make a beautiful house, find a lot of diamond. That’s basically it. 

It wasn’t until I started playing modded Minecraft on things like Tekkit that I started to enjoy it again. Tekkit and other packs like Tekkit add new elements to the game such as quarries, new mining skills, new building opportunities, and so on. The Youtube group ‘Yogscast’ got me into this from their play through of them making a jaffa cake factory.. that was a LONG time ago. Rest in peace, Yogscast Minecraft play throughs. Even though certain bits of the modded packs were too complicated for my tiny, cube placing brain to fathom, I still enjoy the simple parts of them and it did add a lot of hours to the game.

I loved playing Minecraft with my cousin and my brother. Those were the times I was happiest, we would have a server for just us 3 and we would play on it all the time. It would cause a lot of arguments because we would steal each others stuff and get in each others way, but at least we were spending time together and playing something we all loved. I miss those times, I wish we could do that again. My brother and my cousin have thoroughly grown out of that though, so I guess that won’t be happening any time soon. I haven’t grown out of it because I am a kid stuck in an adults body.

Minecraft is that game that you can play for hours on end with no motive at all. You don’t know what’s going to happen, and the unpredictability of most of the game was what kept me playing. I think I’ve just over played it now.

You can buy Minecraft here:

That’s everything! As you can see, all of these games have a very strong creative element to them. This is because I’m a creative person, and if I’m not doing something creative at all times I feel extremely anxious and uncomfortable because my brain needs to be doing something. This is what makes all these games great, they have a strong creative element but also a lot different, other elements that make each game different and equally as great. The main thing to remember with video games is to not rely on the reviews too much. Obviously, if a game has 9,000 bad reviews, maybe don’t spend your hard earned money on it. However, things like Fallout 4 have controversial review ratios and I still absolutely love the game regardless. It’s what makes you happy, what keeps you occupied, and what you like to do.

Comment below what video games helped you to overcome your bad days!

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Hi! I'm Chaz. I'm the Founder of The Green Button Project, I run my own mental health blog, and I'm also a mental health volunteer with Time to Change and 7Cupsoftea.com. I also love dogs.


  1. Wow….this is very interesting, Charz! I should open up a further discussion with my professors from school, to fill me in more,on this! Thanks for sharing. A big hi 5 to that.

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