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You’ve probably heard terms like “social isolation” and “quarantine” a lot lately, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic that has swept through the globe. All states now have formal closure mandates for their schools, and many states have made the decision to keep schools closed through the remainder of the scheduled school year. Thousands of people are having to work from home, while others find themselves without a job completely. Over 3 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits to help them get by during these uncertain times.
Many schools have switched to an e-learning platform for the rest of the year, which can “take attendance,” track grades and allow students to turn in assignments online. But they may not be sitting at their computers for 6-8 hours a day. Whether you’re looking for work or working remotely, you might not be putting in the same amount of hours you typically would either. And, of course, many states are under complete lock down, while others have encouraged their citizens to practice social distancing.
The best thing any of us can do right now is to stay home, stay healthy, and flatten the curve of this virus so we all can eventually get back to our normal lives. But while you’re stuck at home, there’s nothing wrong with picking up some extra gaming time!
Playing video games often gets a bad reputation. People might think you’re lazy or not working toward anything. But gaming has a lot of benefits. One study even found that work teams who played video games together for just 45 minutes a day experienced a 20% increase in productivity.
So while you can use this time to play games and have some fun, you might also want to consider how you can get stuff done at the same time. What can you do to feel productive during quarantine?
Rev Up Your Research
Now is a great time to do some research about the experiences you want to have or things you want to purchase when this pandemic is behind us! Summer is just around the corner, so why not look up unique vacation spots, or plan a road trip with your friends or family members.
Envisioning getting away for a bit and getting out of the house can be a great way to feel less cooped up, and will give you something to look forward to. How does that connect with gaming? Take a look at video game tourism experiences! Video game tourism has become increasingly popular, and it can really be an experience you develop on your own. If you have a favorite game, consider going to the city or country that inspired it. Pick out certain landmarks within the game that you can actually visit.
You can also go to gamer-friendly places across the globe like:
- Tokyo, Japan
- Los Angeles, California
- London, England
- Seoul, South Korea
Additionally, you can start putting some thought into your next vehicle (maybe the one you’re going to take on that road trip?). Even if it’s just for fun, you can test-drive certain vehicles on the Xbox 360, like the Chevy Volt. It’s a great way to get a feel for different cars behind the wheel, and the best part? You don’t have to worry about a car salesman coming up to you with too many offers. You could even go a little crazy and play a little Forza to “drive” a hypercar or two.
Reduce Your Stress
You can’t be productive when you’re stressed or unmotivated. Thankfully, video games can help with both. Many studies have been done on the effects of video games and mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in veterans. A study of 1,000 gamers in the UK found that 55% of them play video games regularly because it helps them to unwind and feel less stressed.
This is an incredibly stressful time for people all over the world. Unfortunately, stress can wreak havoc on your mind and body, causing issues like:
- Upset stomach
- Chest pain
- Trouble concentrating
Finding ways to reduce your stress level during these uncertain times can help you to feel more productive and may motivate you to get out and do more. Finding games that help you to feel calm and relaxed can make a big difference. Puzzle games like The Witness can distract your mind and take you elsewhere for a while, which can be a big help when the world seems to be filled with so much chaos.
Hone In On Your Skills
Gaming can help you to develop a lot of skills, including coordination, the ability to multitask, and focus. You can also use your tech knowledge to build on other skills that you can use now, and when this pandemic is finally over.
Gaming is moving the tech world forward in terms of virtual reality and AI. NASA has even started to use augmented reality to connect STEM principles with real-world environments. If your love for gaming goes beyond just playing for fun, your interest in graphic design, technological advancements, and user experience could be used in other industries, including education and healthcare.
You can also hone in on your design skills while you’ve got some extra time. If you’re looking for work, developing a side hustle or becoming a freelancer might be a good option as it allows you to work remotely and put your skills to good use. Many website builders and tools allow you to play around with their various features, giving you a fun, streamlined experience when it comes to creating a website. It’s a lot like playing a game and learning the tips and tricks to “win.” By learning what you can about site creation now, you can use that knowledge to develop websites for businesses and services all over the world.
Don’t let the uncertainty of the Coronavirus or the isolation it’s causing get you down. As a gamer, you’re probably already familiar with everything from zombie apocalypses to alternate universes. Use your gaming knowledge and the fun you can have with it to make this new way of living (for the time being) more productive and fulfilling.