Alas, the quest to fill the time between frequent trips to the refrigerator is over.
Clean the Cheeto dust off those fingers, get comfy and grab a controller, because video games offer an exciting platform that allows us to connect with our friends and put the anxieties of quarantine life on pause.
According to the CDC, “Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children.”
Sheltering-in-place also deprives many of us of the emotional connection we need from seeing our friends, family and community in person.
Video games offer a healthy outlet to offset the mental health challenges brought on by isolation and boredom, providing captivating experiences that cater to the player’s interests and skill level.
If you enjoy fast-paced, in your face, white-knuckling first-person shooters, then “Doom Eternal” will certainly fulfill your blood lust.
If you want to connect with friends and build a cute village where you can complete simple quests and perhaps become a turnip entrepreneur, then “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” is the game for you.
If you are already a gamer and have long been divided from your friends due to their poor taste in gaming platforms then I have good news, there are now cross-platform options such as “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” which seamlessly connect Xbox, Playstation, and PC gamers alike.
Some of us are cut from a different cloth, so maybe you just want to know what it’s like to be a goose? Well, you’re in luck because “Goose Simulator” provides the full experience and then some for only $20.
Video games are often criticized for their adverse effects on health, however, that narrative is changing.
Counselors and therapists have used gaming therapy to provide a short interval during sessions for patients to relieve stress or even incorporate it into treatment with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy games.
As video game technology evolves, mental health professionals are expanding the applications of gaming theory to video games for the treatment of anxiety and depression.
According to BBC News, there are virtual-reality based games developed to help treat veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The rapid advancement of video game use in the treatment of mental illness reflects their effectiveness in symptom management and hopefully will negate the stigma attributed to video game use.
The mental health challenges of sheltering-in-place cannot be resolved by video games alone.
However, they provide a healthy outlet to help us manage our anxiety and stress by allowing us to connect with each other as we cope with our day-to-day reality.