Tales From The Quarantine

An image of Link sitting alone. Image permission by Captain Dangerous: https://twitter.com/CaptDangerous64

Being stuck at home can be a drag for some — especially when social and personal interaction with others is essential to our daily lives and mental wellbeing.

With the current shelter-in-place order in effect across much of the nation, residents have been stuck at home in effort to remain healthy and avoid COVID-19, a viral infection which attacks the human respiratory system. 

As of late, many are turning to video games as an enjoyable way to pass the time as they may help us recoup after an incredibly stressful day at school or work. 

Unsurprisingly, according to the Pew Research Center, 43 percent of U.S. adults “play video games on a computer, TV, game console or portable device like a cellphone.” 

But what are they playing, exactly?

An image of a Nintendo Switch featuring Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Image by Peter Lopez.

“I have been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on my Nintendo Switch,” said CSU Fresno student Jace Dillie. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the latest from the Animal Crossing series by veteran developer and publisher Nintendo, allows players to craft, develop, and design their very own deserted island. 

For Dillie, and for those currently playing, New Horizons seems to be a nice breath of fresh air and a great way to unwind during quarantine.  

“It is a relaxing game that has taken my mind off of the current situation we’re in.” He continues, “Plus, with a hectic semester that I’ve had, I think this is a nice game for me to play in order to de-stress.”

While crafting and designing may intrigue some, others are spending their time during quarantine playing first-person-shooters like Apex Legends. 

This battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment, which essentially presents a “last man standing” objective, has gamers like TSOG staff writer David Quigley running and gunning his way towards victory.

“I’ve been playing Apex Legends during quarantine,” said Quigley. “I enjoy first-person shooters, and the freedom of movement in Apex [Legends] has made it nearly impossible for me to return to something like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.” 

For Quigley, playing games during this particular time in history is often social, especially when you implement friends into the equation.

“Hopping on for a couple hours is usually a fun time, and I can chat with friends about how the government is burning my livelihood to the ground.”

While some are gravitating towards one game in particular, Patrick Okolo, UC Riverside student and TSOG staff writer, is keeping his options completely open. 

“The games that have kept me sane during this time are a mixture of Apex Legends, XCOM: Chimera Squad, and FIFA,” said Okolo. “These games have been helpful because they can be played in quick sessions and don’t drag on for too long.”

Okolo also mentioned that it’s helpful to have such a variety of games to play during quarantine because it not only keeps things interesting but prevents gaming sessions from becoming boring over time. 

Much like Okolo, Konica Sarkar, graduate student at Coventry University based in the U.K., says playing a variety of games while stuck at home really helps to pass the time. 

Originally from India, and currently forced to stay within the confines of her university accommodations due to COVID-19, Sarkar is mostly playing video games on her Nintendo Switch.

An image of Roboot from Pokemon Sword and Shield for Nintendo Switch. Doesn’t look ready to go? Image source: Nintendo PR.

“I’ve been playing a lot of games on my Switch,” she said. “I finished the game Pokemon Sword and now I started Minecraft, as I was always interested to play it.” 

And while summer is practically here for some, Sarkar has one more week of rest until she must begin her big summer project. Until then, she plans to continue playing games on her Nintendo Switch like Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. 

What games have you been playing during quarantine? Have they helped keep you sane during quarantine? Feel free to let us know which games have kept you company during this particular time in the comment section below.