With a pandemic prompting lockdowns on major cities around the world, millions of people resort to video games to ease their boredom and loneliness.
Last month’s massive surge of digital purchases and online presence only mean the digital gaming industry is thriving.
Records continue to break as people resort to their computers and consoles for entertainment to provide a distraction from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Impact of COVID-19
Nearly every nation in the planet has reported of having cases of the viral infection. Governments are making distressed solutions in order to control the disease.
Online gaming has become a worthy diversion for many people who are frantic due to restrictions of movement, social distancing, postponement of important events and the non-stop onslaught of bad news about the pandemic.
With all these negativity, people start to feel anxious and depressed so they resort to hours of play on online games.
Steam, a famous PC gaming platform, recently saw a huge boost in the number of users logged into their servers especially during the last week of March.
While most games on the platform focus on competitive action games, there also offer plenty of video game genres to suit anyone’s play style.
To help people adjust during these difficult times, game developers are offering free games and big discounts. Vlambeer, an indie game developer, announced that some of their games will be sold at 90% off.
Really proud of the devs on @itchio right now. Many are hosting 100% off sales for their games right now: 135,429 games have been claimed. (This doesn't count people who straight up changed their project's price to $0)
— leaf @ itch.io ???? (@moonscript) March 17, 2020
Just last week, Sony launched their Play at Home initiative which is aimed to keep people indoors during the pandemic. Playstation 4 owners can now download both Journey and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for free.
Too much gaming
While playing games may be an effective way to fight isolation, there can be risks. Gamers, particularly those who play online, can experience toxicity such as bullying and trash talking.
More time spent playing online games increases the risk of being exposed to these toxicity. Experts warn parents of young children to take advantage of parental controls related to online game chats.
Another problem that may arise for parents are the increased purchases made inside the game such as microtransactions and downloadable content.
Experts suggest enabling payment locks to make sure children will not accidently buy in-game content. For adults, being stressed from playing video games can lead to impulsive buying.
In order to avoid this, players should consider disabling in-game purchases.
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