Despite the fact that the rates of COVID-19 infections are still growing, parts of America are lifting their lockdowns. For some, this simply isn’t an option and continuing to self-isolate is the way forward. Fighting boredom and ‘quarantine fatigue’ is key, and video games can play a big role in this. Gaming offers a way to socialize with others, can be incorporated into a routine to give a sense of ‘normal,’ and they provide a way to temporarily escape what’s going on in the real world.
Keeping a Sense of Routine
Living in lockdown — whether it’s through choice to protect your health or it’s being enforced — often means that routine goes out the window. More people are either working from home or aren’t working at all, so there’s less reason to keep a regular bedtime, eat at set meal times, or bathe as regularly as you once did. However, humans thrive when they have a sense of routine, even if it’s only around basic things.
Playing video games at a set time every day can help you to keep routine if you play for a certain amount of time and then follow it with dinner or showering. This helps to fill your time and you can work it in around the everyday tasks that you should ideally continue to do.
Socializing Outside of Your Home
Staying in and keeping social distance undoubtedly means that millions of people are now socializing less than ever and with fewer people. Humans are social creatures so this can quickly have detrimental effects, particularly on your mental health.
Video games often have social elements as you can play with others in real-time; either strangers with a shared passion for gaming or friends that you can’t physically go and see at the moment. Not only can you play with others, but a lot of people also have headsets and are able to speak with you during gameplay, providing a sense of community and some much-needed socialization. Even without headsets, going on gaming forums for tips and help or watching other players on YouTube still gives that sense of community in a less direct way.
A Form of Escapism
The reality and constant news updates of COVID-19 can be upsetting. Escaping into different gaming worlds can provide a sense of control where, in reality, it can feel like you currently have very little. Gaming also emerges you into a different reality where things are as they’ve always been. This familiarity can give you a sense of comfort. Games also require concentration and for players to make decisions and express their creative side, which can quickly take your mind out of reality, helping to relieve stress and digitally transport you to a happier place.
Everything that video games have to offer essentially helps with keeping up morale and having good mental health. In turn, this means you’re less likely to venture outside where the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 is very real, so you’re protecting your physical health too.