For most of us, the holiday season means spending more time with friends and family and for many of us that also means a lot more alcohol. And while it can be a lot of fun to drink, too much alcohol over an extended period of time can lead to serious health problems. But there are also many other things we often forget about during the holiday season – like eating healthy food and exercising regularly – that can make us less likely to have a hangover or even feel as stressed and anxious.

The world feels faster and quicker in recent years: pandemic, war, fears of existence or merely the stressful daily work.
It is therefore definitely easy to understand that numerous wish for more deceleration, coziness and peace.
The genre of the so-called Cozy video games assures exactly this: diving into another world in which life is still fine and mankind is caring contact with nature.
The genre, which is likewise understood by some as a good-life simulation, thus promises precisely what many are currently often missing out on: a great fulfilling life.
What are the mental elements that stress us in every day (work) life and let us get away into the cotton boards of the Cozy Games?
And can you be a counter-impulse or are you in some cases not that far away from the conditions we attempt to escape?
Molina Bering
As a psychologist, Molina’s daily work is a great deal of social interactions.
It is for that reason a bit quieter in your spare time.
In the cozy game worlds of Star dew Valley and Dinkum, she then plants comfortably, builds and plays and thus finds relaxing variety from everyday work.

the main thing!

The start of these games normally marks the break with the present commercial efficiency society of the big cities and the return to the human-close and natural town or island life.
Way of time pressure, pressure to carry out, external determination, to buy your own fields, open your own animals and great discussions with his fellow human beings, such as in Dinkum or Star dew Valley.
If farm life does not interest you, you can also recognize yourself in Coffee talk as a barista or in Lake as a postman.
However, the focus is on an alternative concept of life, work and the balance of these two things.

Cozy video games as a cotton bargain

Relaxing games are of course an idealization of the particular life and task profiles, it is good to see that there are video games that are a safe space for relaxation and self-fulfillment for many players.
Specifically in times when a lot seems uncontrollable, the virtual design of your own farm or preparing a tasty coffee can be simply the ideal thing to keep your head where it belongs.

mental tension factors-the ignition wood for burnout

Psychologists who handle stress consider the work context mainly do so as part of the risk assessment of psychological tension.
In the core, this treatment has to do with inspecting working conditions and processes for aspects that are proven to be difficult for employees and, depending upon the scope, amount and individual nature of the person, can cause psychological tension and disease.
Exactly these aspects and the resulting problem on the mind are discussed in numerous initial sequences of comfortable video games: overtime to abide by the deadline in Lake, monotones, externally determined work in Star dew Valley, sleep-deprived nights in Bear & Breakfast or look for significance and search
Commercialism in Dinkum and Coffee Talk.
The escape from bad living and working conditions is the main beginning point for the popular game equity.

what does the excellent life appear like?

However, these games do not remain with the concept of escape, however outline an alternative work and life concept.
A principle that guarantees to make it much better with varied tasks, self-determined work, positive interactions and a great deal of style.
A truth in which not just examiners of the risk assessment would be happy, however naturally the gamers.
I not only serve my visitors in Coffee Talk, I practically have a therapeutic-sensitive conversations about passions and dreams.


When building hostels, farmers or entire islands in Star dew Valley, Bear & Breakfast and Dinkum, I experience a variety of tasks that I can tackle self-determined.
Even in Lake, the postman idyll, there are no superiors who put pressure on me and offer me requirements regarding my work stamp or the method of working.
The last grinding for the feel-good environment of Cozy-Games then provides the mostly relaxing image and soundscape.
All video games discussed put a strong concentrate on a positive video gaming experience with as little disappointment and psychological stress as possible.
Rather, they rely on awakening as much self-efficacy as possible in gamers.

In psychology, we understand the feeling of being able to take a crucial impact on itself and its environment.

Self-efficacy is of particular significance not just for our wellness in games, but likewise in numerous other life scenarios, particularly in daily work.
If we experience them just a little in everyday work, we can do it effectively if we can experience them in our leisure time through computer game or other hobbies.
More posts dealing with psychology of games:
The Tetris effect: How computer games alter our perception
Can be scared?- A psychological view of the scary genre
How video games reinforce our mental health

stress in the garden of Eden?

So are relaxing video games the epitome of the wellness sanctuary?
Not necessarily!
In specific, simulations connected to farming like Star dew Valley lose a great deal of coziness in the later course of the video game: the number of tasks each day increases considerably, while the time available remains the very same.
Putting plants, supplying animals, gathering resources and pressing villagers has little time left to absorb the relaxing atmosphere of the game.
In addition, the watering of the plants is slowly feeling monotonous and repeated after the 100th match day.
Nevertheless, the video game offers choices for automation, but it originates from the tension trap straight into the next: min-maxing.
The automation and optimization of jobs or in-game working procedures welcomes you to make the optimum earnings with minimal usage: Produce fields as much as possible that the irrigation systems are at an optimum hectic, the fruit and vegetables with the very best incomes’ ratio, and ideally still
The natural champs Junior set as harvest slaves to conserve work.

When do video games stop being relaxing?

Performance thinking and maximizing profits rather of careful farms: Is this still a return to nature and an alternative life and work principle or have we simply exchanged the role of the staff member for the chief position of an agricultural mass production?
Is that still cozy?
Probably barely.
When video games like Star dew Valley end up being an economic simulator rather of an agricultural simulator when efficiency and effectiveness thinking and playing players due to time pressure, uniformity or uncontrolled to-do lists such as work feels like to be on cozy.
You will leave what you have actually sworn in the introductory scene.
There is no requirement for tension or pressure to carry out in video games: Games like Lake and Coffee Talk reveal that an enjoyable and good player life can be produced even without challenges.
At the same time, video games are not a receptive medium, however an interactive.
The video game is to a certain degree, which I make of it.
Nobody forces me to pursue strategies of making the most of the revenues, even if the video game suggests it to me.
If I am prepared to get rid of my own performance and optimization claims, Star dew Valley can also be a little more cozy in the course of the game, or perhaps even our own life.