In the situation of quarantine, there are more and more people staying at home playing game, is it a bad habbit? Let find oud
i’m a big fan of reading. I love a lot of types of book icluding paper books, audiobooks, e-books, comic books, whatever. And I live near a world-class library for easy access to all of the above. But since the COVID-19 pandemic changed everyone’s lives, I’m struggling to get lost in their worlds. While reading, my mind invariably wanders to the outbreak.
Since I can not access easy to world-class library, What I can do is play video games. Lots of video games. Something about gaming has been more interesting than reading, giving me that escape I so badly need right now. Over the past few weeks, the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Call of Duty: Warzone, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Fallout 76 have consumed the hours I used to set aside for reading and other activities, like spending time with friends in person.
I am not alone — gaming is up 75% on Verizon’s networks, the company says — and, despite calls to use this time for more “productive” pursuits, I am not ashamed. Sure, I could be mastering bread-making, catching up on my reading backlog, writing a novel, or doing the myriad household tasks I need to tackle. But I’m not. I’m playing game. It’s fun, it kills time, it’s help me to practice reflex, etc. And, crucially, it’s a way to make “social distancing” feel a little more social and a little less distant.’
I’m lucky. I’m not being infected by Coronavirus and no one in my family is sick. I’m still working and have the luxury of playing games to pass the time. And experts say behavior like mine won’t hurt, and may even help, so long as I’m taking care of myself in other ways.
Ellen Blackman, an English instructor at the University of South Carolina, is breaking up her days of recording video lectures and logging on to Zoom meetings with Stardew Valley, in which players run a farm in a small town. “I had this gut reaction of, ‘oh, that sounds comforting,’” says Blackman, 38. “So I loaded that up and started a new game.”
Blackman says she likes open-ended, uncomplicated games. “I don’t like to play platformers or anything with a lot of combat because I get frustrated and I have other parts of my life that are frustrating, so I don’t know why I would want my leisure activities to be frustrating,” she says. She’s also played a little of the space exploration simulator No Man’s Sky and has eyed Animal Crossing, but doesn’t own a Switch, the only console for which it’s available. “They require just enough concentration that you can clear your brain of the things that are causing some anxiety, and stress, and worry,” she says. “But they themselves are not replacing that anxiety with ‘oh, I’m not good at the game.’”
For others, gaming is a way to stay connected to friends who they can’t see in person right now. Garrick Gomez, a 36-year-old support engineer at a Dallas-based financial software firm, has long used games to stay in touch with friends. “I think everyone having to isolate … has really forced everyone to reach out and try to play games and find games that we can all jump on,” he says.
Gomez says he’s even made new connections since self-isolation started. “I’ve definitely played with people I don’t know, that are just friends of buddies,” he says. “Everyone is locked down and playing games so the online gaming community is thriving, and even expanding, which is kind of neat.”
In the early days of social distancing, calls to use our suddenly ample time to be productive were plentiful. But it’s not an easy time to stay focused on work, school, or anything else. Many of us stuck at home simply need something to keep our minds off the unspeakable horrors unfolding across our cities, our country and the world. Video games, with their robust stories, hours of playtime and built-in social connections, can be that something. They have been for me, and many others — and we shouldn’t feel guilty about any of it.