As new school years start, writer Emmaline shares her thoughts on balancing work and play for the gamer in class.

The school year has just begun, tough and time consuming as ever. As usual, there’s a lack of time to play video games and the stress that comes with school makes you want to play games even more.

Let’s say you take your first couple of days to relax and get settled in by playing some games. Then next week hits and you have 5 assignments that are due by Friday; you’re already drowning in schoolwork. How will you prevail?

1. Balance. Use video games as your relaxation time, your prize for doing your work.
2. Prioritize school. Even though you could possibly gain knowledge from your games, stop procrastinating and put schoolwork first.
3. There are weekends. This is the time to play and chill.
4. Utilize school time. The more you work at school, the less you have to do at your house.
5. Use video games in school. Got a paper assignment for writing about anything? Write about video games so you get the best of both worlds.
6. Use video games to your advantage. Learn from your video games to create new ideas or get influenced for Art or perhaps even Band. Don’t forget about making money by playing games (Twitch streaming, professional gaming, writing for game websites...).
7. Save games for the end of the day. This makes them even more fun and worthwhile - especially if there’s a game that was just released that you haven’t gotten a chance to fiddle with.
8. Play stress-relieving games. Games can make you stressed if you’re trying hard to beat a level. Play quick, jump-in-and-go games.
9. Distract yourself with a simulation game. Make a virtual character that actually does their work - it may make you feel accomplished in some way.
10. In contrast to #8, you could play stress-provoking games to enhance your desire to do work. Who would want to play such a difficult game when you could do less difficult work (and work that actually has a due date)?

In reality, we have lots of time to play video games. This will especially be true when we retire and get fat. If we get our degrees now, we can buy as many systems and games as we want to later.

Managing your stress is important for your mental and physical health. In doing this, you will be able to stop procrastinating and reward yourself with the fun and comfort of video games. If you’re dedicating time to video games, make a career out of it - start making a portfolio of game-related works. This is productive even if you aren’t completing school work.

So game on - and remember, all work and no play...you know the rest.

PS4 image courtesy of playstation.com