After Years Of Being Blamed For Everything, The World Turns To Video Games To Escape During Coronavirus Shut-In

from the the-hand-that-entertains-you dept

For years and years and years, video games have suffered the brunt of blame for all manner of the world's ills. Real world violence? Video games. Mass shootings? Video games. Soccer team not performing well? Video games! Kids getting into hacking? Bruh, video games! Men not finding women attractive enough to keep the human race going? Video games did that, too!

Which makes it kind of fun to now see media outlets suggesting, nay, pushing those impacted one way or the other by the coronavirus outbreak to go jump into those same dastardly video games.

Think of gaming as a personal stimulus plan for a nation of unexpected shut-ins: It’s not a long-term solution, it won’t work for everyone, and it won’t solve the underlying problems — but it can provide limited, temporary relief for some.

Video games take many forms, but they are all essentially simulations. And when the real world is temporarily unavailable, a simulated version might be what we need.

Those of us who evangelize gaming, of course, have shouted this same line for years. Still, the point is only partially right. Yes, video games are something of a simulation... but typically a fantastical one. Which is the entire point, of course. During times of high stress, and being forced to be shut-ins by some invisible enemy that we may already have inside of us certainly qualifies, a little escapism through entertainment is nearly medicine. And certain games, frankly, are particularly well-suited to this situation.

Stuck inside a small house or apartment because your state is in lockdown? Fire up that big screen TV and Skyrim and just walk the wilds for a while. Miss being able to get out into your big city and enjoy a little freedom? GTA will at least give you a simulation of that, albeit an over the top ridiculous one. Just need to turn your brain off for an hour because you lost your job and need to relax? I'll be damned if Stardew Valley won't set you at ease.

That makes games useful in another way. Some of us are shut in alone. But especially in cities, many are now effectively trapped inside modest apartments with family or roommates, and little private space. Games offer a form of personal escape, a way to simulate being elsewhere from the confines of your couch.

And for those who are alone, games can also serve as social spaces, virtual fields of play for cooperative adventures or competitive contests. Many of today’s most popular games are online experiences that allow players to engage with friends as well as strangers, to forge digital versions of the same sort of bonds with teammates that can develop in the real world.

As the post notes, these are not long-term solutions, but they are therapy of a kind. All I'll say is that we should be damned glad our PCs and consoles aren't vengeful, or they'd refuse to help us in our time of need with all of the abuse we've heaped on them.

Filed Under: coronavirus, covid-19, isolation, quarantine, video games


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 25 Mar 2020 @ 8:29pm

    They can also play Animal Crossing: New Horizons and indulge in the ultimate modern power fantasy: home ownership.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 25 Mar 2020 @ 8:51pm

      Re:

      Pay off your home loan by picking weeds.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Mar 2020 @ 5:49am

      'A hundred square feet more floor space for only one arm!'

      Think I'll stick to Stardew Valley for that, no need to deal with the raccoon mafia and extortionist rates for home improvements.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Samuel Abram (profile), 26 Mar 2020 @ 6:08am

        Re: 'A hundred square feet more floor space for only one arm!'

        I think Tom Nook is better in this game, seeing as
        A. He actually asks you if you want to expand your house before doing so, and
        B. he doesn't charge interest.

        So I'm sorry if I'm one of those people who don't hate Tom Nook and his children as much as others.

        Oh, and one other thing, Tom Nook is a Raccoon Dog which is 狸(たぬき)(tanuki) in Japanese, not a Raccoon which is アライグマ (araiguma). You can find the differences here.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 26 Mar 2020 @ 9:22pm

          'I'm no longer punching you by default, that's an improvement!'

          So very crazy that those are actually noteworthy changes, though your points are well taken.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:16am

            Re: 'I'm no longer punching you by default, that's an improvemen

            Indeed!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Samuel Abram (profile), 27 Mar 2020 @ 10:18am

            Re: 'I'm no longer punching you by default, that's an improvemen

            That being said, in the English translation, he's called a "Racoon", even though he's really a raccoon dog, which as I had demonstrated in a previous post, is a completely different species (not to mention genus, family, etc.).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Angel (profile), 25 Mar 2020 @ 9:07pm

    As someone who has grown accustomed to be stuck in the house due to a disability, I've known the value of video games for a long time. I've also gained some other insights as to dealing with feeling isolated. So when all this hit about a week ago wrote up a lengthy post which I first shared on my hometown subreddit, with tips for those who aren't used to being shut-in. The first thing on my list was getting social with video games. I've made some very good friends over the years thanks to MMORPG's and having that escape plus a way to connect with others has been a lifesaver to me many times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Andrea Iravani, 25 Mar 2020 @ 11:54pm

    The new official policy on terrorism predictions is " Who Ever Smelt It Dealt It!"

    When people just "warn" of a "possibility" without any evidence to support that "warning", it is not a warning! It is a threat which is in and of itself an act of terrorism! There happen to be laws against terrorism in this country! Send these psychopaths to prison where they belong so that they can no longer harm anyone! Demand the extradition of Netenyahu! He belngs in GITMO far more than anyone there!

    So sick of these psychopaths! From Netenyahu to Gates! Rockefeller is out of the way now, after his grande finale post exit strategy of coronavirus and event 201 that he predicted would happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 5:33am

      Re:

      "Who Ever Smelt It Dealt It!"

      afaik, the corona virus adversely affects the olfactory capabilities.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Andrea Iravani, 26 Mar 2020 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re:

        Of course the coronavirus effects the olfactory! So does a common cold or flu! The way that these medical frauds proclaim that that is unusual that it effects sense of smell should be 100% proof as to what frauds they are!

        Like claiming that they recently discovered that a fever and infection effects white blood cell count!

        This has been common knowledge for ever!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 26 Mar 2020 @ 8:20am

      Re:

      Take your Alex Jones nonsense somewhere else. We don't want it here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 9:02pm

      Re:

      W. T. F.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 1:42am

    Unfortunately if you have a 'smart' TV (as a display) is might be vengeful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Bruce C., 26 Mar 2020 @ 6:28am

      Re:

      "All I'll say is that we should be damned glad our PCs and consoles aren't vengeful, or they'd refuse to help us in our time of need "

      All I can say is that you must not have worked with very many PCs back in the days of Win 95 and DOS. I've seen PC behavior that can only be described as vengeful.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 8:22am

        Re: Re:

        Oh indeed, but neither of those even come close to the horror of Vista, which was like Hal9000 on meth.
        "I can't allow you to do that, Dave..."

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 11:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Someone should make a thriller where your alexa/echo hacks all your iot and takes over the house, sorta like what some people to to their sims. It could be hilarious.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Mar 2020 @ 1:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Oh indeed, but neither of those even come close to the horror of Vista..."

          Having suffered the infliction of both windows 95 and Vista in my time, i beg to differ. With Vista there was bloat, freezes, lockups, bad drivers, and every other issue you could expect from what amounted to microsoft putting a crap version of windows 7 through an open beta, with every bad idea they thought they could get away with added.

          Windows 95, is what made the BSOD the expected default behavior of a PC and prompted numerous techies to profess a belief that although artificial intelligence wasn't on the horizon, artificial malice appeared to be developed enough to beat the genuine article hands down.

          "We recommend a full fresh install every four weeks"

          • Microsoft Tech support on windows 95 and 98.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 6:15am

    Video games are not the the scapegoat this time.
    Apparently China, Gay People, and Environmentalists are.

    Trump Cabinet Bible Teacher Blames Coronavirus Pandemic on God’s Wrath — Somehow It Involves China, Gay People, and Environmentalists

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      So its right in line with Trumps ideal policy...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Mar 2020 @ 1:17am

        Re: Re:

        "So its right in line with Trumps ideal policy..."

        Yes and No. It's right in line with the ideal policy of the confused fanatics and bigots who make up large parts of his voter base.

        Trump himself doesn't have much of a policy beyond "Pay Attention To ME!!" and "Give Me The Money!!".

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), 26 Mar 2020 @ 6:22am

    Video games are NOT to blame

    The video games nor the video game manufacturers are to blame.

    Unknown to the manufacturers, there is code hidden in their games that secretly generates an undetectable signal which appears successively in each frame of the game. Exposure to this signal gradually causes the players to become aware of undetectable signals from government satellites which transform players into government controlled robots.

    The proof is that these signals and the code in the games are undetectable and cannot be shown to exist.

    I personally find that the best protection is to fashion your aluminum headwear using TWO layers of aluminum foil. This more than doubles the effectiveness due to a resonance effect which develops between the two layers at exactly double the frequency of the government's invisible brain lasers. (take the effectiveness of a single layer of aluminum foil and multiply by a coefficient greater than 2.0.) Furthermore, if you fashion your aluminum hat with two antennas instead of the usual one, this further increases the effectiveness by an additional 37 %.

    I'm not talking crazy tin foil hat conspiracy theories here. You MUST use aluminum foil hats to protect yourself from this insidious threat in these dangerous times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Mar 2020 @ 1:19am

      Re: Video games are NOT to blame

      ...where's the /s?

      Because that sounds a lot like our normal resident conspiracy nuts save for the reasonable and coherent presentation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Andrea Iravani, 26 Mar 2020 @ 8:52am

    This war on the coronavirus is likely as ficticious as the war on terrorism, which was really nothing but a front used for money laundering diverting trillions of dollars from the Pentagon to Wall Street since nobody would question the obscene missing funds.

    Now similary, the same culprits are demanding vast sums of money to be spent for 100,000 hospital beds and 100,000 respirators, and millions of test kits and vaccines, and trillions for losses from mandatory shut downs.

    How would anybody know if these things were actually purchased? They wouldn't!

    Of course in all of it, the megalomaniac psychopaths whose egos are so gargantuan that they cannot be contained within their own skulls and invade our private lives spying on us in our private lives.

    Paying mehalomaniacs, intellectual property theives, and sex offenders to spy on people to fight the spread of the coronavirus is the biggest bullshit story of the millenia!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 9:19am

      Re:

      Right, because all the people who are sick or dead or out of work is just fake news.

      Shut the fuck up.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 11:08am

      Re:

      Have you found your supply of aquarium cleaner yet?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 9:06pm

      Re:

      How would anybody know if these things were actually purchased? They wouldn't!

      Right. Because it's absolutely impossible to verify whether a physical item exists in the building it is purported to be in.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2020 @ 10:57am

    No snarky crap from me today. Wanted to say I just bought RD2 for PC and it is visually stunning and 100% immersive. Really allows you to escape the reality of the shit show that is going on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yes, I know I'm commenting anonymously, 26 Mar 2020 @ 11:51am

    How is Second Life doing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CyberKender, 26 Mar 2020 @ 2:52pm

    So, in a few months...

    ..there should be a significant uptick of violent crime and a string of Animal Crossing-related murders, eh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Andrea Iravani, 26 Mar 2020 @ 6:06pm

    I thought that Russia was being blamed. Many Russian companies and diplomats have bedn subjected to economic sanctions at the request of congress, since the DNC refuses to admit any personal responsibility for the 2016 election.

    Today, Space Force launched Lockheed Martin rockets fitted with an Russian RD 180 purchased this year, from Cape Canaveral one of six. This will be for Ultra High Frequency communications, supposedly. Why? Beats the hell out of me!

    Why Russia puts up with this BS is a mystery to me!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hakko504, 27 Mar 2020 @ 12:15am

    Even TV turns to eSports to fill the blanks

    NASCAR, Indy & F1 all now runs simulator games instead of the real thing, all to be shown on main television channels.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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