Why Gaming Spiked During the Pandemic, and How it Reduces Stress

The internet came to the rescue during the pandemic when people were forced to stay indoors for months. While gaming is a beloved hobby for millions of people worldwide, many others considered it a waste of time. However, the pandemic sparked an unprecedented interest in gaming as an entertaining activity.

Truth be told, gamers never really lead an isolated lifestyle because they have fellow gamers keeping them company while competing in the virtual world. Gamers not only compete with others online but often end up building genuine and long-term friendships.

We’re living in a precarious world where social distancing is the new norm, which is extremely stressful. However, gamers can still plan exciting meetings with their friends in the virtual form.

Gaming Witnessed the Biggest Surge

Mobile games like Among Us, Jackbox games, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons have made a huge impact by gaining millions of subscribers. 100 million gamers have subscribed to ‘Among Us’ during the pandemic, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons helped Nintendo break records and rake in profits at a time when people were forced to stay indoors.

Gaming during the pandemic has served as a therapy for many battling with stress, and even people who ignored it completely subscribed to various games. According to Spark experts, online gaming can actually improve our mental well-being and give us a sense of community and belonging. At times when face-to-face meetings are impossible, various multiplayer games allow us to escape the monotonous regiment we might have. Of course, while gaming can be addictive, it might be a small price to pay to solve the prevalent mental problems we experience during the pandemic.

Connection during the isolation

During the pandemic, the boom in gaming revealed how people across the globe needed to connect during the isolation period. Socialization in gaming is not a new thing, but apart from the die-hard gaming fans, many people were unaware of the benefits gaming holds. Video gamers have been using this tool to communicate with fellow gamers for many years.

Even research has revealed that communicating with fellow gamers was one of the biggest attractions for gamers. Gamers loved socializing, and video games offering text or video chat helped them cope with mental issues like depression, anxiety, and even loneliness during the pandemic. The online gaming world is highly engaging, and with integrated communication features, it mimics our social world to a great extent. Thus, online gaming helped many people isolated in different corners of the world interact with fellow gamers and find solace during difficult times.

Romantic Relations in the Virtual World

A major revelation from the survey was the spurt in romantic relationships that blossomed while playing online games. The survey revealed that 10 percent of the gamers ended in a romantic relationship between players. During the lockdown, people didn’t have much to do, and even first-time gamers realized that online gaming platforms are a great place for first dates. One of the games that caught the imagination of the general public was Animal Crossing, which was used for hosting online parties, Tinder dates, and even weddings. Gamers had the opportunity of visiting villages or towns of strangers and real-life friends by sharing their area code online.

New to online gaming? Several tips for rookies

Online gaming has the power to create communities and bring people closer, which was abundantly evident during the pandemic. Games like Animal Crossing gave incredible opportunities to even first-time players because the gameplay was simple enough for anyone.

Of course, while gaming is entertaining and many people might be willing to try it, many obstacles could get in the way. For one, financial well-being might be a top priority, meaning buying games might be out of the question. Luckily, there are ways to find games for a better price. Many popular video game digital distribution services might base game prices on users’ location. Thus, people living in certain countries will pay more than others. To bypass such price discrimination, you can use a VPN app and change your IP address. Thus, you might be able to find better prices and enjoy gaming without spending too much.

Also, cyber threats come piggybacking with online gaming. Unfortunately, first-time players might be more susceptible to traps hackers or fraudsters set. Thus, it is extremely important that you do not reveal personal information to strangers. While online communities consist of thousands of genuine and friendly players, some of them might be more vicious. They might attempt to get information and used it against you. 

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