I am as blown away as you are.
So, at some point during all the Logan health emergency times my brain couldn’t focus on anything but the most familiar things.
That means I watched a lot of “The Other Two” cause it made me feel a huge range of emotions from the highest of glee to the sobbiest of sobs. Sometimes within seconds of each other. I can’t recommend this show enough. THE NEW SEASON STARTS TOMORROW AND I AM TOO EXCITED!
I mean, that show forced me to apologize to Molly Shannon! A long, formal apology! It’s worth a watch! (plus I want at least two more seasons so each Dubek gets their own. And maybe a fifth for Lance!!! And a sixth for Streeter! Hmm, normally I’m an advocate for shows going no longer than 4 or 5 seasons, but I think I want “The Other Two” to go on forever.)
Enough about “The Other Two” though (although if you’ve never seen it, I’m hosting a watch “party” of sorts over in the Your Favorite Episode group! It started April 14 and finishes tonight), this post is all about driving games.
Okay, so my brain is stressed, yeah? And I’m searching for comforting stuff to do. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing or arting or reading or anything else. And sometimes watching TV on its own doesn’t feel like enough.
What do I mean by “watching TV doesn’t feel like enough”? Welp, sometimes (read: most of the times), I can be sitting there enjoying a television program that I love and my brain starts yelling at me that I’m not being productive enough.
Like, wtf, brain?! I’m trying to enjoy a show! I don’t need to also be writing or also be cleaning or also reading an article or also be planning something. Sometimes I just need to watch a show and that’s it!
Or read a book!
Or jangly limb dance!
Or any one single activity. JUST LET ME DO ONE THING AT A TIME, BRAIN!!!
I’ll save my realization of how often I was actually dissociating while “watching television” for another blog, but I was doing such a disservice to myself and those around me. Yuck.
I know this is not healthy for my brain and it’s a thing I’m working on. Watch TV is enough – it’s relaxing – you don’t have to be efficient all the time.
Capitalism has got us all fucked up, ain’t it?
Okay, but before I tell you about my driving games, I would like to remind you, dear reader, how much this human (me: Jacki) hates actual in person driving.
So one day in the midst of the stress and uncertainty of a major health scare in an otherwise young, healthy human, I saw that Mario Kart was on sale.
So I impulse bought it, knowing I hate to drive. I guess I wanted to suffer or something? Who knows what my brain was thinking!
Except, maybe, just this once, it was looking out for me. In a positive way… not the way where it tries to protect me from things that actually aren’t giving danger vibes at all.
I took to Mario Kart immediately. I loved that I got to choose how many CC’s my kart had.
I, of course, started with 50cc. And, if I’m being 100% honest, I prefer racin’ at 100cc. Which makes it hard to race other humans, cause the online play starts at 150cc (if i remember correctly).
So mostly, I just race the computer, the same tracks over and over. I prefer the snow and sand tracks the most, for some reason.
I’ll hop online sometimes and play, though, so if you wanna Kart with me, reach out for my username and let’s race together!
What I enjoy about these driving games is that it engages my brain just enough to not allow the loops to start.
You know the loops, right? The voices in there that keep making you feel bad for all the things you’re not doing and all the things you should be doing instead.
Those are quiet when I’m racing.
So when I saw that there was a Hot Wheels game on sale, I snatched that up too. I play that more than Mario Kart now.
Currently I am driving a tank because it sticks to the ground well.
Now, you might be thinking that I’d be GOOD at these games.
Welp, I am 100% not.
My style is the classic “go as fast as you can until you hit the wall and then turn”, peppered with some just out of control spinning around.
I’m actually pretty bad.
Used to be, that would be enough to keep me from playing the game at all. But playing on my Switch feels safe, because no one can tell me I’m playing “wrong”.
I ain’t playing wrong, I’m just playing my own way.
And that’s fine.
I think what keeps me coming back is that I see a little bit of growth each time I pick it up. Previously slow progress like that would only annoy me, but I’ve learned that any progress is good.
I feel very free when I drive in a video game. Enjoying these racing games so much, I remembered back to another stressy part of my recent life.
When Mickey first started going out of town for great stretches of time during the pandemic, I was playing Cyberpunk 2077 pretty regularly.
I know it wasn’t the most popular game, but I very much enjoyed it. The story kept me interested, but my favorite part was… driving.
I drove more in Cyberpunk 2077 than I did in an actual car during those times. And didn’t get stressed out or face pick once.
My face skin has been so much healthier since I’ve not been driving. Less opportunities to stress pick at stop lights, I guess.
When Mickey first left and I was in my adjustment period, I’d spend hours just driving in Cyberpunk. I’d put on some music (most likely “The Leftovers 1+2+3” playlist on Spotify) and just drive.
It was one of the few things that truly calmed my brain during those times of adjustment.
And now I get that from Mario Kart & Hot Wheels Unleashed!
Do you have a favorite racing game? I’d love to play it!