Gamers are setting a positive example for what physical distancing should look like during the COVID-19 outbreak. Drink it in gamers, because for once you have a good excuse for spending all of your free time tending crops in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, or playing through the remakes for Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII.
Gamers aren’t just leading the charge for avoiding other people; they are also doing a lot to help raise money in support of getting necessary resources to places that are hardest hit by COVID-19. Here’s a look at where some of the money is coming from.
- Seán McLoughlin raised $660,000 during a 12-hour YouTube livestream.
- Bungie raised more than $350,000 in 24-hours from an ingame event in Destiny 2.
- Games Done Quick is nearing $300,000 during their ongoing charity fundraiser.
- Sony is establishing a $100 million global relief fund for medical efforts, education, and the struggling entertainment industry.
- Many more efforts are happening, and you can check those out here.
How You Can Help Out
Gaming will keep you indoors, but you and many others will be missing out on critical social interactions. The World Health Organization is championing #PlayApartTogether, a campaign that aims to encourage people to make connections online when they can’t interact in real life.
Any online game will do, but if you aren’t a big fan of playing online versions of Monopoly or Scrabble, we can recommend a few other, more engaging titles.
- Call of Duty: Warzone is free to play, and you can play in squads of up to four people in a battle royale setting with up to 150 people on the same map. Warzone builds upon what Treyarch did with Blackout but makes a considerable number of improvements to make the game less boring. It is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
- Fallout 76 just hit steam with all of the improvements made since its questionable launch (don’t go overboard with buying Atoms). If you aren’t a PC player, you can find copies of Fallout 76 for PS4 and Xbox One for around $10 – that is an awesome price for such an expansive game.
- The Elder Scrolls Online takes what so many love about the Elder Scrolls series but turns it into an MMORPG. The game runs several Free to Play events throughout the year, so keep an eye out for those. Once the free period is up, you will need a monthly subscription. If you are playing on PS4 or Xbox One, you will also need a subscription to PS Plus or Xbox Live. ESO also has expansion packs that you will have to buy if you want to experience everything with friends. This is one of the more expensive options to consider, but there is a lot of content here, so consider it a good investment.
If you want a more relaxed experience that also gives you a taste of what it was like being outside and going about your daily activities, then any game from The Sims and Animal Crossing series are good choices. Psychology backs that up too.
According to Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University, when people can’t meet their needs in real life, the virtual worlds found in these EA and Nintendo titles offer people a way to feel in control. The worlds in these games have challenges that the player can overcome. While you can’t control other people, the spread of illness, or the loss of jobs, you can escape into a fictional world and create a new, better life using the tools provided by the developers.
Right now is a good time to be a gamer. Thanks to how the industry has grown and become more accessible across more platforms, getting stuck inside isn’t such a bad thing. While playing your favorite game, don’t forget to keep an eye out for in-game events and fundraisers that help people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.