I've suspected for a long time that gaming is a great way to deal with depression and personal disappointment. Exercise is vital but something needs to keep the conscious mind from grinding metal. When exercise is not an option I expect gaming is absolutely vital - one of the reasons I've avoided huge amounts of game time before now is I suspect it is something we will be encouraged do do long into our senior years. 'Gamers' may soon relate more to senior citizens than teenagers.
Over the last month or so entire I've spent a lot of time playing Eve and can compare gaming with the creative buzz I had through most of the Spring.
Gaming is more immersive, you don't have attention issues and it never ends. You get pulses of achievement and some human interaction. BUT it does make you more physically indolent and other issues drop down the priority level. You don't see much outside.
Creative stuff is a lot more of a rollercoaster, and chances are it ends in a crash when you realise your masterpiece is garbage. Before that happens however you do feel enormous empowerment and justification of yourself. Much as I like Eve and am going to continue with it I already miss the me that creates because he thinks he's a mad bastard that doesn't have to answer to anyone. The gamer just wants to elsewhere all the time.
It's worth being creative even for no discernible audience or purpose just to keep that buzz going.. and perhaps use the gaming as a soft landing when reality starts rushing towards you.
Image stolen from Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon, the only book on creativity that didn't feel like a total waste of time