Video games make great cure for loneliness


Parker Biehl

While being confined to the house during the past two seasons, one may have been likely to try something new or go back to old forms of amusement. If you have dusted off that gaming system or bought one for the first time, there are many games worth playing that will allow you to play with people you know and strangers to help ease the feeling of being alone during the Pandemic. At first, it was the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

In Animal Crossing, you play as a human who lives in a town (or on an island) with anthropomorphic animals. Considered a life simulator, the Animal Crossing franchise allows you to live in this fictional town. Players get to fish, shake trees to get fruit, catch bugs, and sell all of that to get bells, which is the money in the game. With those bells, the player can buy clothes, furniture, and pay your mortgage. It may sound like a very boring game, but it’s actually quite relaxing. Since you’re able to form friendships with your villagers, it gives you a reason to play every day. Sometimes, they may move out, but that means the player gets to meet more villagers, and in the newest title, there are over 400 unique villagers to meet. But, the coolest thing you get to do is play the game with friends! Your friends can come to visit your town/island, buy from your shops, and visit with your villagers. But that obviously isn’t the only game you can play with people.

More multiplayer games have been popping up here and there, and players have resorted to starting playing Minecraft again. Which is a sandbox game where you can mine, craft, and create anything you want with blocks. Then there’s Among Us, a newer title has the player going against his friends to try and find an imposter in the group. All of these games can be played with people that you know, that’s what’s so interesting about them. They allow quarantined individuals to still get that social fix they need. It allows them to still hang out with friends, but virtually rather than in-person.

New or old games can be enjoyed during these seemingly lonely times. Nintendo offers two “games” to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. Both of these are games that allow the gamer  to play an array of Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System games. Of course, you need to have a Nintendo Switch and pay for the online program, but it allows you to play some fun classics. 

For example, you’re able to play multiplayer Super Mario Bros. from 1985 with your friends without being in the same room! Both players need a Nintendo Switch and the online service to play, though. If you’re wanting to play with your family, you’re able to do it on the same console! It’s a nice way to play through some classics that your parents may have played.

Another form of gaming that’s shown up over this year is mobile gaming. From fantastic games to ones that have obviously ripped concepts from other large titles, you can find a ton of stuff on your phone’s app store! 

Sega, Nintendo, and other large gaming companies have their games on the app store now. Most of the time, they’re behind a paywall, but you can still find some other good games from Indie developers. It’s very important to support smaller companies right now. So, look into some less-known games! There’s plenty of them to play.

Quarantine won’t stop us from spending time with friends. Make sure to stay safe and most of all, game on and have fun with your friends! We can all agree that we deserve a break, and the best way to do it is to kick back and play games with friends!