Time well spent, not wasted: video games are boosting well-being during the coronavirus lockdown

DATE: Mar, 3   COMMENTS: 0   AUTHOR: Allan Azarola

There is a segment of the cultural industry that, decidedly less than the others, seems to have suffered from the restrictive and lockdown measures imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic: the vast video gaming industry. From the perspective of the amount of hours spent playing on consoles or in interactive environments, to the search for new game modes, passing through special initiatives conceived by gamers or gamer-proof, videogames and coronavirus have proved to be a flourishing combination.  

 In addition to improving games, developers and publishers are also encouraging users who want to learn how to develop games on their own and who now have more time to deepen their knowledge and skills. Many companies providing gaming solutions, like pm tech, have fostered their activities in on-line education, and provide opportunities for those who wish to join teams of Gaming & Entertainment industry to study and practice under the guidance of their best expert developers.  

What gaming success in times of crisis depends on?

 The months of lockdown have simply accelerated a process already in place and There are many reasons according to experts. First of all, contrary to what used to happen in the past, video games are now, in most cases, interoperable and do not necessarily require the purchase of ad hoc devices, which is an advantage in a time of economic difficulty like the one that follows the coronavirus emergency.  

 Secondly, the narrative universes of video games are more versatile and more easily adaptable to the current moment. Again, the video game market is not a hyper-concentrated market like most other entertainment markets, and even with some difficulty, small independent video game producers should be able to survive the post-coronavirus economic crisis. Much more simply, most video games, regardless of the device they are intended for, can be purchased online and on major marketplaces, a not insignificant advantage in an era of cautious movement.  

Games that are not just games

 Historically, video games have been a mostly solitary activity. You could go to the arcade with friends and you could play Fifa with your cousins, but many games were meant to be played alone. Things have been changing in this regard for a few years and many video games have now become platforms that stimulate encounters and collaboration between users. Matthew Ball, a famous digital media analyst, write that the goal of Fortnite: Battle Royale may be to kill all rivals, but those who play it do so to spend time with friends.  

 Various video games have now become spaces that can contain and encompass very different activities and experiences, and inside video games there have been concerts, movies and even virtual casinos have been created. And even without socializing inside a video game you can for example do it by following other video gamers on platforms like Twitch.  

Online and multiplayer games: best for helping socialization

 Video games are good for your health, especially in quarantine. Using multiplayer games, it has been shown, is a great tool for encouraging socialization between people. It creates moments in which people can laugh, joke, help each other and team up. There are many games that allow this interaction:  

  •   from classic board games brought online, such as Monopoly or Battleship;  
  •  to more elaborate and dynamic games, such as the shooters GTA V, Fortnite, Call of Duty or Apex!  

 All these games have the same ability to create cooperation between individuals. The moment you put on your headset, you are no longer estranged from reality, as the other users are real. Today, the world of video games can be seen as an outlet to relieve stress and bring people together at a distance. It is time to abandon the old catastrophic conception of video games in favour of one that sees them as friends of health and psychological and social well-being.  

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