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Play these 9 video games to be more mindful and happy

The game that many love, Skyrim, came out on top in a recent study as one of the best mental wellness video games.

With its vast landscape and customizable gameplay experience, you can create your adventure with whatever materialistic desires or memories from past Elder Scrolls titles make sense for this new world order!

Read what gamerant has to say about this study

The study was conducted by FandomSpot as part of their ongoing series on how the modern media that people consume affects their mental health and wellbeing, with previous studies on the subject concluding that 79% of gamers see gaming as a source of stress relief and relaxation. To set the stage for the study, a survey was conducted where players were asked to pick video games that put them in a state of mindfulness and flow – of being in the zone.

The next stage involved choosing a hundred participants covering a wide array of demographics. From different backgrounds and locations, to ages and sexual orientations, they were instructed to play the games that surveyed most favorably in limited two-hour stints, alone, using consoles and peripherals of their choice – albeit with the addition of a simple heart-rate monitor. The participants were asked to record any mood shifts, stress levels, and emotions they felt before, during, and after their gaming session had concluded, as well as to list the specific factors that may have contributed to their mindfulness.

At the end of this study, a list of top 10 games that most easily helped players reach a state of flow began to emerge, with Skyrim (#1) at the very top, alongside games such as Tetris (#3), The Witcher 3 (#4), Minecraft (#5), and No Man’s Sky (#6). The stated reasons for Skyrim ranking so highly included repetitive combat mechanics, the outdoor scenery, as well as its gameplay loop allowing small victories such as gathering crafting materials along the way to larger goals.


Besides this mindful blog has their own list of another three top video games that can be played to be more mindful. Read below

1) A Happy Ending

A magic-infused game about death and saying goodbye? In Spiritfarer, you play as Stella, a ferry driver who transports friendly spirits to the afterlife, granting their final wishes along the way—like a colorful, compassionate spin on the Greek myth of Charon and the River Styx. Stella also learns to care for herself, during a scene where a snake spirit named Summer teaches her a sort of open-awareness mindfulness practice. “Meditation, Stella, is an affair of wholeness. Wholeness, and oneness,” says Summer.

2) A Calming Quest

Popular among educators, Minecraft provides endless possibilities for creativity and learning. In “The Mindful Knight,” designed for ages 8-13, a wizard teaches players to “cast a spell” by focusing on breathing and not getting distracted by thoughts. Sound familiar? There are further exercises for observing your sensory experience and labeling emotions, and players can record their responses for their teacher in a virtual journal.

3) One Thing at a Time

In Animal Crossing, the mindfulness is more built-in than explicit. While hanging out on a desert island, players perform relaxing tasks like talking with fellow villagers, going fishing, or tending to their virtual gardens—a structure that game designer and writer Jennifer Scheurle describes as a “gentle progression.” There’s no way to get ahead or defeat anyone else. You just have to do a little bit every day to get results in the game, which Scheurle compares to the way we gain benefits over time from meditating.


When you need a break from your  day-to-day life, consider booting up one of these video games. Some may surprise you with their ability to make you more mindful and appreciative of the better things in your life.

From problem-solving skills to reduced stress levels, playing video games offers plenty of benefits. So next time you’re feeling down or stressed out, try spending some time with Mario, Link, or any of your other favourite characters – it just might be the pick-me-up you need.

Team MindClockWork

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