by Petar Petrov, Staff Writer for Terpenes and Testing Magazine
Cannabis and video games are not just regarded as the Brangelina of matches made in heaven, but at times can even feel so perfect, it makes all other forms of love seem dull, almost pointless. Why do anything in life when you can have multiple lives in all kinds of wondrous virtual worlds, made all-the-more enchanting by cannabis? Cannabis and video games can both be objects of addiction, be it milder than others, and mixing them together for too long and too often might create a vicious circle of deceitful, smothering comfort.
How Cannabis Enhances Video Games
Imagination and Visual Perception
Video games, especially certain kinds, are a form of art, the most interactive and multi-dimensional one there is. Cannabis is like a pair of XD glasses through which each one of a video games’ elements sucks you in one level deeper and makes you release the stereotypical stoner exclamations ala “Whooaa, duuude”, in which each extra vocal stands for another blown mental universe.
Famous cannabis advocate and researcher Charles Tart Ph. D has interviewed many subjects of his studies for whom cannabis is a prism which adds extra nuances to every perceived color and extra meaning to every produced thought.
“I have more imagery than usual while reading; images of the scenes I’m reading about just pop up vividly,” one of his subjects shares.
"I see new colors or more subtle shades of color than when I'm straight," another says.
This might be attributed to the increased connectivity of cannabis users’ brains, meaning the neuron transmissions are faster and more constant.
This is why cannabis makes beautiful open worlds and meaningful stories in video games feel like your very own.
It’s no novelty that with cannabis, music reverberates through your entire body and soul. The flower really does make sound seem deeper , fuller, more spacey. You can even notice tiny, extra harmonies, tones, and nuances which have previously gone unheard.
Music’s role in video games, even though it may not be the most central, shouldn’t be understated, and its effect can be almost as powerful as it is in movies.
A More Memorable Experience
A possibly groundbreaking testament to the special relationship between cannabis and video games is the findings of a test study by the Groningen Mental Enhancement Department in the Netherlands. It discovered something almost poetic – Alzheimer’s patients who played video games after using cannabis retained more memories of the experience.
“All the test subjects played increasingly challenging games each day, but half the group was also administered smoke. Would you believe that the [cannabis] test group scored 43 percent better memory retention than the control group? It was a far greater benefit to the [cannabis]-administered group than we could have imagined,” says Ewoud Joost, the study’s leader.
Video Games as a Form of Entertainment
Time Perception and Relaxation
To relax is basically means to get temporarily lost somewhere your mind is at ease. Cannabis is perhaps most famous as a form of relaxation because it’s a simple way to make the mundane more special or fun. And when you consider video games alone are also a powerful relaxant, the two together can take your mind off virtually anything.
Cannabis not only helps you immerse yourself deep into gorgeous, powerful video games, but it can make even more superficial shooters like Call of Duty infinitely entertaining.
Add to that cannabis’s mysterious ability to alter time perception and prolong moments worth savoring while still making time fly, and you can shoot, play sports, or punch people in the face for as long as your eyes can keep open.
“Cannabis improves all types of things that are related to being present in the moment, as opposed to long-term planning and worrying and ordering and organizing,” says Dr. Zach Walsh, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC.
Many people who have a passion for both cannabis and video games believe the flower makes them better gamers, but this is often scoffed at for being nothing but typical stoner thinking.
However, an eloquent indication of the truth behind this myth is the fact the Electronic Sports League (ESL), the largest eSports league in the gaming world, basically regards the flower as doping as cannabis use immediately before and throughout the duration of the event is banned and leads to disqualification, even though in general it isn’t prohibited.
Danger of Overindulgence
Unless you’re a professional gamer or you have nothing else to do with your life, it’s wise to be at least a little wary not to overindulge, both when you enjoy each on its own, and especially when you combine cannabis and video games together as one can become a reason to do the other, and vice versa.
Sometimes cannabis and video games complement each other so well, you get to associate them with instant joy within immediate reach, while anything else worth having in life becomes even more distant, demanding, arduous, and ultimately, not worth the effort.
Cannabis Varieties for Gaming
What gamers want from a cannabis variety is usually the right mix of relaxation, euphoria, and focus, and mental energy, something to make the couch even more comfortable without turning it into your bed. Plants like Blue Dream are a universal option; Acapulco Day for more casual, superficial gaming during the day as it’s rich in THC; or Lemon Kush or Pineapple Express for games that require thinking and focus, possibly even creativity, and tingle the senses and imagination with their multi-dimensional beauty.
Like all perfect couples, as good as they can be together, cannabis and video games need to stand the test of time and preserve their love against many different types of odds, and a passionate, but healthy attitude is what can keep their love alive the longest.
 Earleywine, M., Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence, 2002, Oxford Press, Oxford, UK.
Image Credits: TNM News