Now – I will preface this post to say I haven’t been officially diagnosed as neurodivergent, but I definitely reckon I have ADHD (at least!). This mainly manifests for me as scattered attention, lack of focus, comprehension problems & I’m also very sensitive to sights, sounds & my environment generally.

Playing games online has never really appealed to me & I think I finally understood why! It’s because they tend to be “too much” for me to process & most of the time the instructions are too complicated for my brain to understand. Yes, really!

But, you know those times when you’re tired, but wired… You just can’t seem to settle or relax fully & need something to occupy your mind while you wind down? Watching TV or movies in times like these doesn’t work for me – a) I don’t have a TV (honestly!) & b) it requires a LOT for me to sit through even a 30min TV show with full attention.

I’ve actually found simple (the key word here is simple) online games to be perfect for me in times like these. Plus the ones I like are free! It took me some time to find games which are best suited to my sensitive constitution (!) but once I did – boy, do I love them! They are fun, just on the right side of challenging for me & don’t last too long! Plus I love the challenge of trying to beat my last score!

I’ve compiled a list of guidelines that work for me when I’m playing online games. Maybe they will help you too, especially if you’re a fellow sensitive soul!

  • Choose a game that is visually appealing. The first game I enjoyed playing was a mermaid, underwater themed game “Treasures of Atlantis” (picture above) – one with pretty, girly graphics. There is no way I would enjoy anything violent or not “pretty”.
  • Read the instructions carefully – often I want to skip this step & then wonder why I’m struggling to understand the game! Often written instructions don’t sink in very well for me – I need to see visuals of the process. Take your time & try to follow the steps / screenshots laid out.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. It took me a few attempts to get the hang of my first game (or first few games!). I was really slow, but took my time to get the feel of the game.
  • Turn the sound off or lower the volume – I have to have the sound completely off as the music tends to spike my anxiety / overwhelm!

  • Don’t compare yourself to others on the leader-board! I like to save my scores so I can see my own improvements, but they are always way lower than the top scores!
  • Don’t spend too long on screen – I’ve found playing 3 games back-to-back is my limit. Or you could set a time limit for playing.
  • Once you get the hang of one game, why not have the confidence to try a new one? Take it slow again as you will be learning a new set of rules.
  • Know what game types work for you & what ones don’t. For example, I like simple “Match 3” games with fun graphics – number games such as Sudoku & card games like solitaire just cause me too much stress!

Let me know if you are a fan of online games? And if so, what type do you like to play? Or, alternatively, have you previously struggled with them? Maybe some of my tips will help in that case?! Let me know in the comments below!