Video games offer another entertainment medium and outlet for escapism and stepping into the shoes of someone else’s life. I’ve played a fair amount of video games where I was a human Grey Warden, an N7 soldier, a crown prince trying to take back his throne, or a teenager attempting to get a handle on her time traveling abilities. In every role I assumed during my time with a game, it allowed me to really get inside the head of these characters and truly understand what their experiences were. But one experience I could probably do without are the sex scenes found in some mature video games.
Four months into lockdown and monotony can set in. Every day is a never ending loop of waking up to the exact same surroundings and doing the same thing over and over again. Each week hardly looks distinguishable from the next. While staying at home for an extended period of time hasn’t been that difficult for me, we introverts are often thrilled when we aren’t forced to interact, there is a sense of longing to be able to go on trips or hang out with friends without worrying if the big bad C will come and get you. To add a little variety during my weeks, I have taken the initiative to pick up other skills or hobbies when I need a little break from the usual ones I’ve been doing.
After making a better commitment to fit more reading time into my schedule last year, I thought it would be helpful to finally give the Goodreads app a shot. Although my adoption of the app has been woefully late, compared to other passionate book readers, I can’t imagine going without it. Since writing a post last year about my initial impressions of Goodreads it has continued to be one of my most used apps on a daily or weekly basis. Again, what took me so long to finally become a Goodreads convert?
Let’s face it—being an adult sometimes sucks. Not only do you have more obligations and serious concerns to think about, but your time becomes far more precious. You’re lucky if you can spare 20 minutes for yourself. One of the downsides of developing an interest in video games later in life is not being able to spend as much time as you want on it. You either have to take care of more pressing issues going on in your own life, or you want to be able to play another game you have been meaning to play from your backlog. I’m coming to terms with probably not being able to get to every game I currently own, but at the same time, I’m thinking maybe the workaround to getting close to playing everything is cutting out most side quests from my gaming time.
Spending most of your time at home, until it is deemed safe to resume life somewhat normally again, means you’re no longer figuring out what to wear each day. Your outfit of choice when you’re working from home is either your PJs or sweatpants. When your every day clothes has been reduced to whatever is comfy at home, unless you have to show your face from the waist up for a video conference, there hasn’t been a lot of need to “dress to impress” these days. Although the pandemic has temporarily taken the stress out of deciding what to wear before leaving the house each morning, I do find myself longing for a time where I was able to wear my prettiest dress to a party or donning a favorite sweater and jeans when I went to the office. The fashion deprivation I’m currently going through has led me to live my best stylish life through Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
One of the reasons why I enjoy writing my own stories is the total control I have over everything. I get to decide if my story takes place in the real world or a fantasy. I choose what my characters look like, what color eyes they have, and how they dress. I can dictate if my main character will be a heroine who lives happily ever after or will have their life end in tragedy. That’s the thing about writing—there’s no limit to what you can do. You’re in the driver seat the entire time. But one of the challenging parts about writing is deciding what to name your characters.
There’s always a bit of hope when one thing ends and another begins. That has always been my world view anyway. I try to see life from the lens of optimism, even in the face of crushing struggle and heartache. When 2020 arrived a global pandemic that brought a sinking economy, massive job losses, and the worse public health crisis anyone has ever known wasn’t exactly what people had in mind. I had hoped that the start of a new decade would bring about a world of possibilities. Instead, most of us of are staying home and wondering when this will all end.
What I miss the most since the pandemic started is being able to meet up with my friends and family without any fear of contracting a deadly virus or giving it to someone else. Many of us are longing to hug each other or picking a restaurant to dine in at. Though these things are temporarily off limits, one thing I am forever grateful for having is an Internet connection.
Spending a month and counting at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus can and will eventually take its toll on you. Maybe you’re starting to feel extreme cabin fever, despite every effort you make to go on the occasional walk while social distancing. Or maybe you’re just plain bored out of your mind after doing everything that could possibly keep you busy. I’m doing fine for the most part, and haven’t snapped from the confinement. But I do think all this time indoors has started affecting me in weird ways. What is it you ask? I’ve created an inventory of my video games.
When it comes to appreciating the smaller things in life, especially in this time of upheaval, I’m grateful to have such a wide and varied number of interests to get through this pandemic. If you’re able to stay home during this public health crisis to keep yourself and others safe, one of the things you might be wondering about is what do you do to keep yourself busy and sane until it’s all over? In my case I’m glad I’m able to hop from one hobby to the next without ever really getting bored. I’ve talked about writing, gaming, and watching shows to pass the time. Another thing I’ve been doing to keep my mind occupied, and taking a much needed break from the bleak news out there, is reading.
Spending a significant chunk of our days at home will most likely prompt many of us to be creative with the time we’ve got when we’re not dealing with real world problems. We all need time to relax and de-stress because, let’s face it, living through a global pandemic is depressing and rife with a lot of anxiety for many of us. A running joke I have seen on social media is how introverts are more capable of dealing with long and extended amounts of time inside than the extroverts and social butterflies of the world. As a self-professed introvert much of the time, I do think there’s a grain of truth to that joke. I’ve got plenty of home activities to keep me busy for however long I’m expected to stay home. Being unable to commute to the office or go out in general doesn’t bother me too much, but I do miss seeing friends and family in person. Despite the extraordinary circumstances, I’ve taken this as a good opportunity to draw my attention back to my video games backlog.