You Have Died.
Ok, so you’re not dead, just sliding into a feeling of loss that everyone gets the chance to feel as their heart is ripped out and plummeted down the spiral of disappointment, loathing, and emptiness. You may have a lot of questions: “Why does everyday seem to be depressingly sunny or always raining? What will you do with all of your free time? What about that hoodie your (now ex) significant other ‘borrowed’ and never gave back?” Rebuilding yourself after a big change in life like breaking up with a lover is not something that should be taken lightly.
However, recovering from change is something very human. Let us look at a couple of games that are useful for the different stages of post-relationship blues. Each suggestion will include multiple games that are good for any stage at the end of a relationship. The games in each group are not based on genre; the idea is that different age groups and different people can use whichever games from the different groups that suit them best. The genre is based on mechanics or merit; this list is based on the feel of the game.
The “Punch Your Emotions (Or Anything Else) In the Face”
These games are truly masterful at letting out anger, frustration, and overall rage. Gone are the feelings of sadness and replacing them we find the need to smash everyone and EVERYTHING. This category is good for if that special someone in your life was also the special someone to another person. Cheaters, liars, and messy situations can leave a person hurt, but definitely mad as well; now that that person is gone, you can do the soul-cleansing smashing you never got to do with them.
The “Wait, What Day Is It Again?”
Sometimes a relationship is simply not meant to be. This, unlike the first option, does not necessarily show fault in either party; the comparability wasn’t there. This gentle ending can still leave either or both parties as though they are missing a piece. I have a dear friend who I would refer to a ray of sunshine. While this is definitely a compliment, this friend could come across as too peppy at times too. This balance; one of sunshine but not the sunshine that blinds is what a relationship can be. The most life-giving moments can become blindingly painful as time progresses. This is not an end that was steeped in distaste for the (now ex) significant other, rather in difference. These games allow the player to take on a different life, for a time, giving the chance for recovery in the real world. While losing yourself and your problems are by no means a long-term plan, stepping back and taking mental time off can be exactly what this (video game) doctor orders.
The “Cover Up Your Feelings With More Feeling”
So, you want to escape, but you don’t want to lose yourself in doing so? This category allows people to play games that give access to stories that have emotional as well as mental pull. They involve strong, intertwined relationships that allow the player to discover the world around them on a (somewhat flexible) linear track. Bear in mind, many of these involve choices that determine the outcome of the story and ending. As cracking open a good book frees the soul, so too does digging deep into the depths of a narrative-heavy game convey a story in a personal way.
The “You Can Always Come Back”
What a blend of games! These games never, ever, EVER, end. They are games, much like the Role-Playing games mentioned above, you can become completely lost in. However, they provide different gameplay loops altogether. While Skyrim allows character progression and (after many hours) sees an end, this category allows the player to continuously get better, different supplies or simply more. Gone are the limits of 400-600 hours of gameplay like the puny Witcher series. The other feature of this category is most of these games are multiplayer compatible, meaning your time spent campaigning through tsunamis of terrorists does not have to be completed alone.
Breaking up is not something that anyone in the history of mankind has enjoyed. It can become painful, uncomfortable, and completely crippling depending on a number of circumstances. As ideas are presented to counter the punch of a crippling break up, it should be remembered that these games are all up to user discretion. Another list will be provided with more suggestions soon, but for the sake of length, it has been split up into two pieces.
Games, like all other forms of art, are built to make us feel. Sometimes a game is meant to make the player feel elated or delighted. However, other games help us step back and understand that emotions may not always make sense; often times emotions, games, music, art and people will take us where we least expect. These recommendations will, hopefully, help you through those tough times.