How Farming Simulator 17 could help calm your anxiety

Yes, you read that correctly. And I’m sure you’re thinking this article is going to be full of shit because how in the hell will a farming game possibly help me when I can’t help myself? Prepare to be amazed.

giphy (4).gif

First of all, let’s discuss Farming Simulator 17, created by Giants Software:

Take on the role of a modern farmer in Farming Simulator 17! Immerse yourself in a huge open world loaded with new content: new environment, vehicles, animals, crops and gameplay mechanics!

Explore farming possibilities over hundreds of acres of land, including a detailed new North American environment. Drive over 250 authentic farming vehicles and equipment from over 75 manufacturers…

Harvest many types of crops, including for the first time sunflowers and soy beans. Take care of your livestock – cows, sheep, chickens and now pigs – take part in forestry, and sell your products to expand your farm! Transport your goods with trucks and trailers, or load and drive trains to reach your destination.

Farming Simulator 17 offers rich online activities: play in co-operative multiplayer up to 16 players, and download mods created by the passionate community for unlimited content and an ever-evolving Farming Simulator 17 experience.

Steam, Valve Corporation

And if that isn’t enough to have you convinced that this is something you should invest in, then I don’t what ever could be. Except maybe this video (turn your volume on):

Seriously, guys, if you’re not living for this–I don’t even know. You’re probably a scrub, and that’s okay. I understand this isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea. But if giphy (5)you’re into simulation games, relaxing sounds and scenery, cute animals, and lowkey game play you can walk away from if you’d like, then this is going to be your jam.

Now that I’ve hyped you up, I’ve got some bad news. Sorry, my bad, I can be a shady bitch. This game is just about too good to be true, and I’m about positive that that’s why the price tag is as steep as it is… $34.99. I mean: Ouch, Cat, what the hell? But hear me out! It’s a one time purchase for your computer or your platform, including PS 3 and 4, VITA, 3DS, and XBOX 1 and 360. It’s also got unlimited gameplay and replayability. With so much content to be gone through and new mods constantly coming out, I find it hard to believe you could ever grow truly tired of this game. Plus, from what I’ve seen, the Farming Simulator community is an awesome, huge group of people to be in cahoots with. That’s worth more than $34.99 to me. Even so, I realize this may just simply be too much for some people to afford right now and that many people wont have a computer or platform that can handle this game. This is exactly why I introduce to you Twitch TV.

Twitch is similar to YouTube in that it’s a site where you can watch various videos. What’s different about Twitch is that it’s centered around watching people play video games (old and new) in real time (streaming live). This might sound completely pointless, why would you want to watch somebody play a game instead of play it yourself? Yet, the answer to that question is pretty simple:

  1. The person streaming the video and playing the game usually will have some kind of awesome personal quality such as being famous, being fucking hilarious, maybe just being plain entertaining to listen to, or super smart. A lot of the time streamers will play together and you can watch/listen to them as they play.
  2. You get to interact with the person playing the game. Most streamers enjoy suggestions, questions, or just general tomfoolery and conversation. You have the option to write comments posted under your username which show up in the “conversations” tab, meaning everybody watching the stream will also be able to view and reply to your comment.
  3. Sometimes you’re just too damned tired or lazy to actually play the game, but you want to experience it anyway. So, if you don’t want to drop the cash on the game, you can still “play” it vicariously with a bunch of potential new friends.
  4. A lot of the time popular streamers are given early access to games, meaning you can get a sneak peak before anyone else.

And then, you know, there’s always YouTube. Regardless of the channel you may pick to view through, I’m going to leave you with a suggestion: Sips. This guy is hilarious and does have a Twitch and YouTube account where he plays many games, including Farm Simulator 17!giphy (6)

And now that I’ve just talked your ear off–

What Farming Simulator 17 does for my anxiety:

So, I can’t speak for everybody when it comes to what exactly anxiety feels like or what the best methods for calming an anxious person down are. However, I can tell you that for me, keeping my mind busy and my body relaxed does wonders. Some people wonder why I always wear a sweater or I don’t get out of my bed during days off. The truth is that I like the weight of my blanket or sweater because it feels comforting. Other times people wonder why I don’t mind sitting in silence or why static, white noise doesn’t bother me. The key here is audio-therapy, these sounds (or lack thereof) are easy for me to focus on and either meditate or clear my mind of my anxieties. If you’ve ever been inside my room, you’ll notice that there are a lot of blankets, soft textures, candles, incense, flowers, and colored class vases. This all has to do with a calming aesthetic. I surround myself with things I like to look at, touch, smell. Things that remind me of home or simpler times. Things that look pretty and polished or perfect. All of this added together creates a perfect environment for me to bring myself back together, to remind myself that I’m alright, or to have a breakdown if I need to and know that I’ll be safe and comfortable.

As strange as this is going to sound, I’ve noticed that Farming Simulator 17 has the same effect on me as my bedroom does. The clucking of the chickens, the occasional moo, maybe the sound of some rain during the day and then the chirp of crickets at night. Thfarming-simulator-17-5e graphics of this game are amazing in that they aren’t 100% realistic, but they look beautiful regardless–especially when the sun sets or you look up into the cosmos during a clear night. I can sit in my robe or my oversized pajamas and collect eggs, run errands, walk around, sight-see, or watch my boyfriend play and grow crops or complete tasks–all while drinking wine or coffee in my bedroom. There is no hurry in this game, but there is lots to do on your own time, making it something that doesn’t get boring fast but keeps my brain busy.

I mean, you could just go to the countryside. But that’s not always possible. You could just listen to “farm sounds” on YouTube. But then you’re missing out on the landscapes. There’s just something powerful about how Farming Simulator 17 wraps all of these anti-anxiety elements together and it works for me. And I’m thinking it could very well work for any of you who also suffer from general anxiety and are looking for another outlet besides coloring books, sudoku, and Rubik’s Cubes. I think it’s at least worth a shot. If you download and play the game, or watch anything on Twitch or YouTube, leave me a comment and tell me if it worked for you. Also, don’t forget to share this with anybody who might benefit from it either.

Lots of love,
Catlin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s