During this crazy time that we are all living in, I came to one conclusion; games are not my way to escape reality, rather, video games are my way to connect with myself and the people I love. At the beginning of March, I was sent home for 14 days due to me being in contact with the virus. In June, I was asked to go home from work, because I was running a fever. During these times as I waited for the results, I turned to an old friend, video games. My love for gaming was rekindled during this pandemic. In the middle of those days where I was at home alone with my wife, video games became a way for me to connect to people that are very near and dear to my heart. Even if I couldn’t be there next to them, I knew they were just a loading screen away.
Video games have become more than escapism, they have become a connection to everything I love. When I couldn’t leave my apartment and I missed the outdoors, I booted up Red Dead Redemption 2 and I would wander for hours in that beautiful open world. Being able to enjoy the beautiful vistas from the comfort of my couch became my safe haven in the middle of this chaos. When I missed my brother I would send him an invite to play Borderlands 3 and we would talk for hours shooting psychos and grinding out loot. When my wife and I got bored and we missed our date nights we would improvise and create our own date night by having a nice dinner delivered to us, and we would finish the night by playing something like Streets of Rage 4 or Overcooked 2. Having my player 2 next to me during these times definitely helped me enjoy the times that we spent in isolation. Video games helped me keep my sanity, help me connect with my brother and wife during all this.
If this quarantine has taught me anything during these rough 5 months that we have all endured is how much video games really mean to me. Video games have always been there for me. Playing Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo with my dad is one of my oldest memories. Making plans to play Halo 3 after high school with my friends is something I always look back at fondly. Gaming to me is like that old friend that is always there for you at the end of the day to listen to you, to help you through difficult times, to challenge you. I am glad that gaming is a huge part of my life. Especially during times where staying inside is imperative.
Right now is the best time to pick up a controller and stay inside. There are plenty of games that you can enjoy while staying inside the comfort and safety of your house. I definitely recommend you stay at home and game away. Maybe you have drifted from gaming, Maybe you have been putting off that RPG for months, or years because you don’t want to waste hours inside that world, well right now is your chance. So put on your best and most comfy PJs, grab a cup of coffee or your own choice of beverage, and play on.