GameCentral readers discuss what games they’re playing during the coronavirus crisis and how their approach to gaming has changed recently.
The question for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Grackle, who asked if how you play video games has changed during the coronavirus outbreak. Have you been playing more or less games in the last few weeks and do you have any specific plans in terms of what games you’re going to play during lockdown?
Almost everyone said that they were playing more games than usual, with most opting for longer games that they wouldn’t ordinary have time for – as well as co-op games for all the family.
I have been playing Call Of Duty: Warzone and it’s already become the preferred way for me to chat with my mates now that no-one can go outside. Although the current situation is pretty bizarre it’s not the first time we’ve used a game like this and I think it’s pretty common for many people nowadays. Rather than being on the telephone for hours like your parents would’ve video games are a much more enjoyable and sociable way to do the same thing.
Don’t get me wrong, Warzone is a good game but the primary appeal for me is the social aspect. It’s free, so anyone can join in and it doesn’t really matter if you’re that good at it since you’re playing co-op in a team. I think this has been the real secret of Fortnite’s success, and games like Destiny and Minecraft.
Sometimes a game just has to be competent and the important thing is whether it’s fun in a group. That may seem shallow to some but now we’re seeing that it can have an actual benefit in keeping people sane in extraordinary circumstances.
I’m not surprised to hear the news about the Switch selling out because I decided to finally get one just as the coronavirus started become serious, as I figured I’d end up self-isolating and with nothing much new to play. I got a copy of Zelda: Breath Of The World and Super Mario Odyssey and have been getting stuck into Zelda and am so far very impressed, despite its age.
It’s a huge game, that much is obvious and that’s what made me realise I made the right choice as I have no idea how I’d have time to play it otherwise. I guess I could try and get in some sneaky hours at work, since it’s portable, but I’m not sure that would’ve been a good idea. Now though I’ve got three weeks, at least, to explore the whole game world at my leisure.
I mean, I’ve got no work, as a home decorator, so that’s a big concern (to put it mildly) but at this point I’m just going to take the rough with the smooth and enjoy the one benefit this whole madness has offered.
I feel very guilty about this subject because I’m basically hoping that the outbreak, or at least the lockdown, lasts long enough for met to beat Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Stupid I know, but at least it keeps me in the house, instead of the idiots I see roaming the streets outside every night.
I’d like to hope that the wider world will see the real benefits and qualities of video games thanks to all this but I’m sure that won’t really happen. It’s already been going on for over a week and you see news reports treating the fact that more people are playing as some kind of weird quirk, like, ‘Look at how desperate these people have got because they’re stuck inside!’
I’m not sure the way games are treated by mainstream media will change. By this point most people have grown up with them and I still don’t see much change. Games are still just a scapegoat for problems and never taken seriously.
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I’ll be doing the obvious and work through my backlog which at the moment consists of Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Divinity: Original Sin 2, amongst several others. I’m assuming Luigi’s Mansion 3 will be fairly straightforward but my understanding is that Divinity is very long and very complicated (and quite hard too?).
To be honest that seems perfect for the occasion, especially as it has split-screen co-op and was apparently designed specifically for people to play with their SOs. My girlfriend has never been into games but I’m hoping this will be a chance to prove to her that they can be good and are not just mindless violence.
To be honest I’m quite looking forward to it all. And at the very least, if we do go stir crazy about being locked in together we’ll only have a falling out over a video game and not something more serious.
Next best thing
I got Nioh 2 a couple of weeks ago and haven’t really started on it, so that seems like a good place to start. A Soulsborne game seems perfect for the current situation and if the first one is anything to go by Nioh 2 should be the next best thing.
I’ll also be seeing if I can get some friends playing Destiny 2 again, so we can keep in touch while all this is going on. I never particularly liked the game but it was good for keeping in contact with distant friends. I might give Call Of Duty: Warzone a go for similar reasons, although I don’t know anyone else is playing it at the moment.
For the first time I’m going to try and complete my pokédex in Pokémon Sword, something I’ve never done before. Even though I was disappointed in the game in many ways I’ve found myself chipping away at it still, as it’s something that’s easy to play in small doses, and now I figure I’ll just get the whole thing done.
Other than that I’ll probably go back to Destiny 2 as that’s the one I’ve hung out with my friends with the most over the years, and probably the only way I’ll see them in the next month or so.
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Until my working from home devices are set up properly, playing computer games through the three-week lockdown, or partial lockdown or whatever the official situation we’re in is called, is one of the only ways to keep sane.
Luckily the games I play are fairly lengthy and require a bit of concentration, which does make time go by pretty quickly indeed. Though I don’t think I am at current enjoying them as much as I should do, due to the rather surreal world we are living in at the moment. Whenever I put the news on, it’s like a damage report and looking outside my window and seeing a silent world out there in the glorious sunshine, just makes me feel as though I am in some dream but a waking dream – a strange reality.
I don’t play online games anyway, but I have been messaging colleagues through WhatsApp and keeping in touch that way and just trying to make the best of it. Books, TV/films, and fames are one way for your mind to be filled with other emotions, so as to take you away from the real world temporarily. So they’re definitely helping me alright.
I’ll be playing Metro Exodus, Metal Gear Solid 5, and Subnautica over the next three weeks. And hopefully when Easter is over the Government will relax the current outside rules a bit and the virus will be more contained, so I can then get back to working in an office again.
I wish all at GameCentral and its viewers my best wishes during this awful epidemic and also to the amazing NHS for the brave and great work they are doing for the health of the United Kingdom.
See you all on the other side, as they say.
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