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Rewarding the ME/CFS Brain

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by Firestormm, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Gaming has been part of my management strategy since about 1993. While I have never discussed it in terms of getting some brain reward, I have discussed it in terms of experience control. Our lives are largely out of our control, carefully chosen games give us a sense of control, not just reward. There is something in our lives that is not chaotic and malevolent. That sense of control is a big feature in managing this illness I think.

    Having said that there is the issue with games becoming too familiar that fits with a reward response. If its not new, novel or surprising, we get less of a brain response, less of that aha moment.

    Added to which many games incorporate elements similar to gambling ... maybe around that corner I will find something nice, or in this box, or get given some reward for completing a mission. I play a lot of RPGs but tend to avoid FPS adrenaline-fests. If my adrenaline goes up I am in trouble.

    So dopaminergic triggers are built into many games. Its what makes them addictive.

    I have played a lot of Skyrim, though the record is Master of Orion, I think I played more of that than anything. Its a very old turn based space strategy game.

    I cycle through my games, play one for a bit then a different one. In RPGs I play one character, then next time pick something different. Constantly changing and mixing things up does help keep the game from going stale. So does game rotation. I also think have different types of games helps.
  2. WillowJ

    WillowJ Senior Member

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    That's exactly why I played games earlier on. Having one thing that worked according to a pattern, that I could predict and to some extent control.

    It's harder now because I can't cope with so many decisions. But it's a good idea and I'll pick it up again when the time is right.
    Firestormm likes this.
  3. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    Midwest, USA
    Yes, Civilization gives me such wonderful control over my cities, workers, and troops. There is no one around to criticize if I want to make economically unjustifiable decisions (which I do). The only thing really novel from game to game is the terrain, but that is fine with me. A nice predictable, me-in-control game is just what I need. (I just wish trade wasn't so difficult to manage in my version.)
  4. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Cornwall England
    I used to design my own world, a replica of the Ancient Mediterranean, if I remember correctly (it was a good few many years back). Came to be one of my main 'hobbies'. I doubt now that the time I spent in pursuit of this would be as feasible under present circumstances. It would be very hard to pack it all in with the things I now need to do and find difficult/time consuming. Still, I am tempted to re-engage with Civilisation in light of your posts :)

    N.B. I used to find CivFanatics a great help to me in the past. Not sure what they are like now though.
  5. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senescent on the Illinois prairie, USA

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    I too found CivFanatics helpful. I used some of their Game of the Month maps. It had never occurred to me to end a game early. I would build my space ship as soon as I could to be prepared if any of the AI civs build one, which they rarely did. I would wait until the last minute to launch my spaceship so I could continue building up my cities and throne room.

    In consulting my notes, I find that the last time I played Civ was February 2012. {Sigh}
    Firestormm likes this.
  6. Firestormm

    Firestormm Senior Member

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    Cornwall England
    I for one never did build any spaceship. I had the settings to play in ancient times with - can't recall exactly - domination or some such as the victory condition. What can I say? I am an ancient history nut :)
  7. xxRinxx

    xxRinxx

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    Let's seee..I play Dragon Age, Fable, Skyrim(though I agree oblivion is wayy better, especially modded), handheld console games(not big on platform console gaming besides old ps2 games). Then I MMORPG game, Ragnarok online, perfect World, going to start a new one once beta opens..and of course Elderscrolls online when it comes out, woot woot~
    Reading and gaming are the only thing I have to do besides feebly walking my dogs, haha..Luckily my eyes have evened out so i don't get so nauseous playing, but i still have to pause and rest frequently. I went through a year period where I didn't even get online..it was just too depressing, but i've learned to move past that and accept things, so i'm starting to enjoy things again.
    Beyond likes this.
  8. Beyond

    Beyond 10% of discount in iHerb!--> PEZ915

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    Hope Elder Scrolls Online will be up to the challenge! Thanks for reminding me about Dragon Age I must admit I dismissed it in the past but now the gameplay looks appealing.

    As an exchange I will tell you this: Mass Effect is an interesting cross-over of shooter and rpg, with a rather profound role playing aspect to it, the atractive of futurism and great visuals. I say that the rpg aspect is profound compared with what is offered most of the time but could be a lot more.
  9. xxRinxx

    xxRinxx

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    Definitelllyy recommend Dragon age. One of my favs because you can switch up between characters and set a battle plan. I like games where split seconds decisions make a big impact on games also.
    I'll look it up, I usually buy the farm on shooter games(..I can do archery..just not guns..haha) but i'm always looking to find one i can actually do well, haha. Unless its scary and has jump-out frightening moments..My heart just can't take those while i'm ill ,haha.
    Nico likes this.
  10. Nico

    Nico Senior Member

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    I really enjoyed reading this thread, and maybe at some point I can add a different game to my repertoire. I've never been a gamer, but since being home-bound & isolated I try to find ways to keep my mind stimulated. I'm playing a little less these days, but in the evening I tend to go to Lexolous on Facebook. It's like scrabble. Also play Mahjong on and off.

    I used to be a bit of a type A, and also athletic before illness. I think the Lex game brings out this competitive side in me a little bit. I try to outwit, and think, strategize, etc. I have even asked people to play in French or Italian with me (although I don't really know the languages well enough). I simply figure out words the best I can with Latin roots as my guide. When I don't know a word, I go to wiktionary to look it up (after the play, I prefer not to use a word builder). So, I like to think I'm learning something too. (although never sure how much is retained).

    When I'm super tired, I just play to play. Lexolous allows one to chat, so that can be nice too at times. When I play this in the evening, I also have a radio show on...to feed my brain as best I can.

    I have no idea how to play some of the more "serious" gamer games mentioned here. I think adrenaline games would be a mistake for me too. Thanks everyone, for some ideas!
    rosie26 likes this.

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