Coronavirus and Surviving through the Virtual World

Coronavirus and Surviving through the Virtual World 1

People stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether still employed or not, are looking for ways to entertain themselves. This has caused a recent surge in how many people are playing video games being both one-player games and multiplayer games. One NPR writer, Glen Weldon, has pointed out the simple reason for the trend of finding comfort in video games: “When this world is uncertain, return to game worlds that aren’t.” Weldon has picked up on another fact of people who play video games but sometimes all of a sudden stop – like any hobby, they tell themselves they will return to a game when they have more time, and now the time has come. Everyone in the state of California has been ordered to stay home and not interact with other people, along with other states and cities in the U.S.

A variety of video games have seen a spike in popularity this month. Jackbox Games, which produces party games like You Don’t Know Jack, has experienced traffic in the last week similar to its traffic during the Thanksgiving holiday according to its CEO Mike Bilder. To follow up on this recent activity during the isolated times of COVID-19, Jackbox released a how-to guide for playing at a distance with friends and family using Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts.

The highly anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released today, March 20, 2020, and gamers stuck in their homes could not be more excited. Many game stores around the world even struck an audacious move to remain open during the pandemic closures just for the huge release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Steffan Powell, Newsbeat gaming reporter of BBC News, claims that, “This latest entry into the series however could, by accident, be the best timed release in the history of games.” Now that humans have seemingly ceased to be animals crossing in the streets spreading coronavirus, we can play Animal Crossing and explore our desires to roam about in the virtual world.

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