Why Video Games Are The BEST Quarantine Activity

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” Those were the words from Naval Adm. William H. McRaven. Speaking at the University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement, he helped to inspire millions worldwide. But what exactly is he talking about there? Well, to put it simply, it’s about starting off the day with one simple task — one thing you can put a bit of yourself into. One simple task that you can do well. This has a sort of domino effect that helps push you into the increasingly bigger tasks throughout the day.

Why do I bring this up? Well, in a world where many of us aren’t exactly allowed to go outside, work, or accomplish much of anything, we’ve had to keep ourselves busy. Many of us have turned to film and TV to keep ourselves occupied as we ride out the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is one particular pastime that is seeing an uptick from plenty of people.

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Video Games

Even anecdotally, I’m noticing a lot of my friends who don’t normally game are turning to the pastime. In fact, the World Health Organization has done an about-face on the whole concept of gaming. Recently, they pegged too much gaming as a mental disorder. Now, they’re calling it a healthy social pastime. In fact, it is being prescribed as a treatment for many during this time of isolation

“We’re at a crucial moment in defining outcomes of this pandemic,” WHO ambassador for Global Strategy Ray Chambers said in a tweet. “Games industry companies have a global audience – we encourage all to #PlayApartTogether. More physical distancing + other measures will help to flatten the curve + save lives.”

So, why are video games such a great pastime?

Social Connection

I don’t know about all you, but I haven’t spent more time on Facetime, Google Duo, and WhatsApp than I have over the past couple of weeks. But staring at your friends and family’s dumb faces can only go so far as far as novelty is concerned. Why not socialize over a friendly game of Mario Kart, Overwatch, or Warzone? It’s both productive and socially-engaging.

Plus, while I have been in touch with old friends over the years, I’ve been reticent to get in touch with many for online gaming. A lot of us are busy nowadays, so it’s hard to align schedules. Now, none of us have anything better to do, so I have zero guilt in proposing a game of Overcooked or Super Smash Bros. It’s almost an excuse to reach out to old friends.

As someone who already worked from home and has had the 10% of social life snatched away from them by the coronavirus, I can tell you that social connection is one of the biggest aspects of this whole thing. 

They Help Us Escape

Sure, many of us can already go on walks around our neighborhood. Perhaps you’re even brave enough to drive to a more adventurous hike. But at the end of the day, our options are limited. But if you’re in the mood to go outside without running the risk of coming down with something, there are plenty of options out there. Plus, they all allow us to get away from this ugly world we’re livign in.

You have games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Breath of the Wild, and The Witcher 3 that allow us to engage in our wild sides. They all give us a virtual reality to escape into. Yes, they all have their own in-world problems, but it’s still an entirely new place in which to escape.

But that isn’t all. My next point brings it all back to the beginning.

Making Your Bed

Games are a weird thing. In many cases, you’re literally either taking on second jobs or finding menial tasks to take care of. In today’s world, those may be the best games. I need only point to games like Animal Crossing. This is a game where you literally spend time catching fish, digging up fossils, gathering wood, and crafting materials. It’s literally like having another job, except with little to no stakes.

But I point back to McRaven’s point at the beginning about making one’s bed at the beginning. Sure, his point about it leading to bigger tasks isn’t necessarily possible for many of us, but he’s right about one thing. Even the smallest, most inconsequential tasks can be worthy of our pride. 

We don’t have a lot of control over the world right now. Many of us can hardly go shopping without having an intense amount of anxiety. But we can still find the materials to build our neighbor’s houses in Animal Crossing. We can still grind to level up that one character. We can still find one way to be productive and in control when everything else is outside of our control.


With all this in mind, it’s no wonder the world has turned to video games for comfort. In spite of the panic, the unemployment, the anxiety, and the sickness, we go out of our ways to find comfort. As humans, it’s no wonder we turn to social connection, escape, and productivity as a means to make this happen.

As a love of stories — and with it film and TV — I assumed I’d spend a lot more time binging series. However, as I’ve made my way through various shows, the one main thing I’ve found myself turning to is video games. And, based on everything I’m seeing, I’m not alone.

LRM Online contributor and active Army soldier Kyle Malone needs your help. CLICK HERE to lend a hand to the cause!


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SOURCE: Ray Chambers

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