Tips on how to chill out

An undergraduate, postgraduate and worker tell Anna Taussig what they take a break with
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The Independent Online

Marissa, 25, PhD critical theory: Buzz! The Big Quiz, PlayStation2, £24.99

"This is just hilarious! You need a gang of you though, so it works well for students because we're often in and around at the same sort of times. I share a house with four others, so we often sit down for a quick Buzz!. It's a quiz game really. If you like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and shows like that, you'll be hooked in no time. I'm fairly competitive, and I like general knowledge-type games, so it's perfect for me.

You can play with up to eight players. The questions cover music, film, sport and random areas too. There are video clips and pictures. And Buzz, the host, is hilarious. But the best thing about it is that it's so very nasty! You can steal points from other players, if you get the answer right first, you can shoot someone else's life away, and there's something called 'Pass the Bomb' where whoever is holding the bomb when the time runs out loses - so you can be mean and waste time with it, then pass it on at the last second. It's great! Very good fun. Just don't play with anyone too sensitive!"

Lucas, 20, Bsc psychology student: Fight Night - Round 3, PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, £39.99-£49.99

"I recently discovered the wonderful world of computer games - which, I'm sure, is very sad, but what can I say? I'm an addict now! I managed to avoid them throughout my teens, when loads of my mates got hooked, but now that I'm revising for my finals and working really hard at uni, the occasional half hour kicking the hell out of an animated character is worryingly therapeutic. My latest favourite is Fight Night - Round 3. It's so realistic! The graphics are great, you really see the injuries as they happen - which sounds gruesome. Well, I guess it is gruesome really! You see their bruises swell and noses bleed - that's how you gauge how well you're doing. I'm not usually into sports games, but this one is clever. You need to play tactically and really keep your eyes on the screen. It's the best game I've played on Xbox 360 - particularly given my circumstances at the moment, by which I mean the fights can be fairly short, so you can get really involved, take a total break from college work or whatever you're thinking about, and then get back to it without having wasted hours looking for a get-out point. It's perfect for people locked in revision!"

Ed, 25, graphic designer: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, by Marina Lewycka, £7.99; Withnail & I, DVD, £19.99

"Reading helps me chill out more than anything. I always have a novel on me for my journey to work and back, but I often read at home too. I generally go on friends' recommendations, but the book I'm reading at the moment, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, I just found in the bookshop. It looked interesting to me. It's about two Ukrainian sisters, who don't get on so they spend as little time as possible with one another. Then their mother dies and their father's getting old, so when a ruthless blonde Ukrainian gold-digger divorcee turns up with the hope of getting her hands on some cash she thinks the family has, the daughters agree that they have to 'rescue' their father. That means they have to work together. Old family secrets come toppling out. It's a really funny book and I'm really enjoying it.

"I also love watching movies. A group of my mates get together every Wednesday after work for our film club. We take it in turns to choose a film and watch one every week. We're all pretty into our movies, so the films can get pretty obscure! Sometimes though, you just want a classic. Last week, for example, we watched Withnail & I. It's brilliant - Richard E. Grant at his best! Everyone knows it, don't they? Or if they don't, they should! It's about two young male miscreants living in a dive in London. They head out to the countryside and run amok. Nothing really happens, I suppose, but it's such an iconic film: really great lines and really funny. The more you watch it, the better it gets. I reckon I could recite the whole film off pretty much, which is perfect for a Wednesday night film, when you just want to chill out and not concentrate too hard."

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