Leading a company demands a way to relax, and every CEO looks for a way to unwind. While some might choose activities like golf or sailing, Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, finds comfort in playing video games.
“Playing video games has a calming effect on my mind. Confronting virtual challenges helps ease the turbulence in my thoughts,” Mr Musk told podcaster Lex Fridman in an episode released on Friday. He added, “I’ve played many video games because it’s my main recreational activity.”
“My mind is a storm. I don’t think most people would want to be me. They may think they would want to be me, but they don’t, they don’t know, they don’t understand,” American business magazine Fortune quoted Mr Musk, the owner of Tesla, SpaceX, and X (formerly Twitter), as saying.
Grimes, who has three children with Elon Musk and has been his companion for a long time, shared with biographer Walter Isaacson that Mr Musk doesn’t have any “hobbies or means of relaxation aside from video games, but he approaches them with such seriousness that it becomes quite intense.”
One of Mr Musk’s favourite video game titles, “The Battle of Polytopia,” is described as a “strategy game about building a civilization and going into battle,” according to Fortune.com. Mr Musk’s brother Kimbal mentioned that Elon views Polytopia as a tool for learning CEO skills, underscoring that “Empathy is not an asset.”
“Elden Ring” stands out as another preferred game in Elon Musk’s collection, focusing on war and empire-building. Mr Musk regards it as a top-tier game, commending its creativity and breathtaking art. Reflecting on the game’s themes and life, Mr Musk observed, “Conquering internal animosity is the most challenging boss battle, both in life and within the realm of video games.”
Remarkably, Mr Musk’s gaming has influenced major business decisions. Grimes revealed that Mr Musk decided to purchase Twitter after an intense Elden Ring session that lasted until 5am in the morning.
Mr Musk uses video games to achieve a specific mental state.
He told Mr Fridman, “If you play a tough video game, you can get into a state of flow, which is very enjoyable. Admittedly, it needs to be not too easy, not too hard-kind of in the Goldilocks zone.”
“I guess you generally want to feel like you’re progressing in the game. And there’s also beautiful art, engaging storylines, and it’s like an amazing puzzle to solve,” he added.