Managing the Stresses of Building a Career in Gaming
If you love video games and like the idea of being paid to play them, your career in gaming can start now. There are many opportunities to design games or play them online, where you can show off your skills or battle other players in tournaments. A successful career could earn sponsorships and notoriety, and there’s no limit to how you can grow. Whether you want to compete against others or test games at software companies, there is an option for you.
However, gaming is not always an easy career, and there can be a fair amount of stress. The idea is to get ahead of your anxiety to fulfill your passions. Below are some steps for succeeding in a gaming career and managing your stress along the way.
Building a Career as a Competitive Gamer
The first step to becoming a competitive gamer is determining your niche, like playing a specific genre or game. By focusing on a particular niche, you can draw in fans interested in the same type of game. Being too broad about your interests may not draw in the followers or subscribers you need to succeed. Once you choose a game or genre, you need to start practicing. Someone else is likely out there that is better at the game, and you will need to compete.
Next, you need to build your brand and create an online presence. You need to separate yourself from the crowd and be as authentic as possible. Connect with the audience as you play, respond to your commenters, and be honest with your fans. You can remain engaged with the audience by staying relevant and talking about the topics of the day. If a new game is coming out or a controversial gaming story is in the news, try to talk about it or create content around that story.
Maintaining your brand identity can be stressful, especially when constantly creating and releasing content and jumping on the trends before your competitors. You may be so stressed because your goals are too lofty. You don’t need a million followers or big sponsorships right away. Instead, set smaller goals, such as hitting a certain amount of achievements in your current game or reaching a set number of subscribers, before you go on to the next planned stepping stone of your career.
If you’re still anxious, find or build an online network of other gamers. You can form relationships with these other players, talk out your issues, and help each other in times of need.
Managing Stress as a Game Designer
A career as a game designer can be incredibly fulfilling, especially if you create the newest fad. However, a lot of work is involved so stress management is key. In addition to working long hours and creating incredibly detailed graphics, many game designers also work remotely from their own homes. The issue with a remote arrangement is that you may feel isolated, and the loneliness can affect your work.
It’s important to remember that you are not alone. Even if you don’t have someone working alongside you, you can always call or message your boss, a coworker, or a friend to ask questions or just chat for a few minutes to regain that necessary human connection. If you don’t have someone like that, you must speak to management and express your concerns.
When we work from home, it is also easy to work longer hours because we aren’t in an office that closes for the night. Over time, that exhaustive schedule can lead to burnout. To avoid this issue:
- Create set working hours and stick to them.
- Set an alarm each day to remind you that it is quitting time.
- Create to-do lists of your tasks for the day. Keep these lists by your side, and if you see that you are spending too much time on a job and it may cause you to work too late, consider moving on and returning to it the next day.
Types of Stress That Can Affect All Gamers
There are work-related stressors in every occupation, and gaming is no different. Repetitive movements and the use of muscles and tendons can cause inflation and potential carpal tunnel in the hands. Also, staring at the screen for too long can lead to dryness and blurriness in the eyes. Sitting in one position for hours at a time while staring at a screen with little movement can also lead to weight gain and obesity.
When these physical ailments get out of hand, the pain and frustration can impact your mental health. It’s important to realize the signs of work-related stress that can happen while gaming, so you can take preventative measures to meditate your frustration. It’s not uncommon to get upset when playing or working on a game and get a headache or start to grind our teeth. These physical issues can worsen over time, so you must pay attention to your body to make the proper adjustments.
Many gamers can get so into their game that they have trouble concentrating. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol which gives you short-term motivation, but it wears off over time, and your brain can become foggy. As soon as you become overly anxious or have trouble paying attention during a game, pause it, and do something else for a while so you can come back feeling mentally refreshed.
Gaming can be a gratifying career, especially if you love doing it. However, it’s easy to let ambitions cause unneeded stress. Consider these tactics and cope with your anxiety while building the gaming career of your dreams.