Having Some Fun: Playing Games

Life shouldn’t be serious all the time. We also need time to chill out and relax. Here I’d like to deviate a bit from my normal topics and talk about a favorite pastime of mine: playing games.

I love playing games. In fact, I loved it so much that I learned to make my own games. That’s how I came to learn computer programming, beginning when I was in high school.

There was a problem though: I spent so much time playing games that I barely accomplished anything at all. Back in those days, I could spend six hours straight playing games! I had a lot of fun but accomplished very little (except for making my own games, I guess).

But then—becoming more aware of my productivity—I stopped playing games as much in recent years. Now I only play casually. I still have fun playing games, but I keep it under control. I use it as a way to relax, not as a way to escape from my responsibilities.

You might want to know what my favorite games are. Here are the games that in the past soaked up hours of my day:

  1. Romance of the Three Kingdoms – It’s an old game that I’ve played since I was in high school (using my first computer). The game—set in the three kingdoms era of ancient China—is about building your kingdom and conquering others’ until you unify the land. This was the game that I played the most for years.
  2. Uncharted Waters – This is an old game about being an ocean explorer in the 16th century. The game is produced by the same company that produced Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Koei). I missed a lot of meals playing this game.
  3. Starcraft – This is a more recent game that I started playing in my college years. Starcraft is a popular e-sport game with dedicated TV channels in South Korea (where it’s particularly popular). I even learned some self-improvement lessons from its pro gaming scene.
  4. Civilization IV and V – These are the most recent games that I played for hours a day. It’s about building an empire throughout the ages.

As I mentioned above, I only play casually these days. Since many PC games tend to take tens of hours to complete, now I mostly play iPad and iPhone games. Here are two favorites of mine:

  1. Civilization Revolution – This game is just like Civilization IV and V above, but it takes much less time to finish. I could finish a game in about two hours instead of tens in the PC version. I usually play one game over multiple days. This is the game that I play the most these days.
  2. Kingdom Rush – It’s a tower defense game with creative twists. I love the graphics and the gameplay. I have played all the games in the series.

I also play other games, but these two are my favorites.

What about you? Do you play games as a way to chill out? Comments here.


  1. Saurabh Srivastav
    Saurabh Srivastav

    Hi Donald,
    My story is quite reverse. I used to consider gaming as a complete waste of time. But then I started playing T-rex Runner on Chrome browser, and found that it was an instant stress buster and a good mindfulness exercise. These days I play ‘Hill Climb Racing’ which is quite a minimalist game and I am loving it. I will surely try out the ones on your list.
    Saurabh. 🙂

  2. I tried Civilization, it’s great! I love game that are building type more close to reality. Age of Mythology and Assassin Creed are also my favorite. But now as I’m older, I only have time for small mobile games 🙁

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