Written by Maggie Hammond; edited by David Oxford

Students have it tough. Not only do they have to get used to living away from home, but they also have to put in a lot of study time to stay on top of their course work and assignments. It can be difficult, which is why it is worth making time for rest and relaxation away from the lecture theatre.

Online gaming is a great distraction. Since Wi-Fi is usually free in student dorms, you can devote plenty of time to computer gaming without fear of running up a huge bill. Alternatively, if you are doing a masters in social work online through an MSW online degree program, you can play games at home, which is even better.

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World of Warcraft: Legion

Students have been awaiting the release of the latest WOW expansion pack for months and World of Warcraft: Legion does not disappoint. Some of the new regions within the game are amazing and each new zone offers plenty of reward, which is good considering you will need to sacrifice a lot of valuable study time pursuing new quests on your mission to thwart the demon army. The good news is that faction challenges now stack up for three days.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine

Critics and players love this game. You are a monster hunter, sent on a quest to find a child from an ancient prophecy. The game is story-driven and the fantasy world you play is beautifully rendered and visually stunning. Open world role playing games don’t get much better than this. The “Blood and Wine” expansion pack provides around 20 hours of extra gameplay, which is more than enough to keep you entertained between assignments.

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Dark Souls III

Dark Souls III is the latest chapter in the ever-popular Dark Souls series. This is a fun sword and sorcery role playing game where you can explore different locations in a fantasy world. It takes hundreds of hours to see this one through to the conclusion. You can’t do it alone, so it’s a game where alliances are forged. However, gameplay is endlessly rewarding and it’s a lot more fun than studying.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider

Lara Croft is back with a vengeance in the latest incarnation of the popular Tomb Raider series. This time, our plucky explorer has to trek through some of the most remote – and treacherous – parts of the world to find the secret of immortality. Along the way, she will need to forge new alliances and hone her survival skills if she is to retain her reputation as the world’s best Tomb Raider. Her only hope is if you put in the hours to help her achieve her quest. Luckily, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a fully immersive game, so you don’t have to be concerned about real life intruding into your gameplay.

Gaming is a welcome distraction from the rigors of study, but try not to lose weeks of your life to gaming, or it could negatively affect your social skills.

Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations.

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