Online gaming became an escape from worldly problems. It became a way to spice things up. It feels very thrilling because you have a lot to lose in this real world. In the gaming world, you won’t even have to worry about the repercussions. It boosts our critical thinking skills and it helps us be in a better mood. And, we have never needed it more as we do right now during this pandemic.
Online gaming – a way to beat the boredom during the COVID-19 pandemic
To be honest, when I was a little kid, I was not really fond of online gaming, or just games in general. I mean, I am very active when it comes to the ones on the street like our traditional games. These would include luksong tinik, luksong baka, patintero, and the like. However, when it comes to those which I have to stare at the screen of any gadget, I was not that attracted. But occasionally, I get interested and enjoy some. However, I remember a time when I used to go to my playmate’s house.
I would play games with him and his cousin on their PlayStation. Now, I remember how I enjoyed it and how appealing it feels. It mesmerizes me. Also, I recall this particular video game character. I could remember her being a female character with an outfit of a pink rabbit, and when she punches, hearts appear. Although I can’t particularly remember what the game title used to be, I remember picking her whenever I can. I actually asked my cousin while writing this but he can’t remember it either. I hope it doesn’t just slip away out of our minds. So, if you have no idea, pls sound off in the comments.
At that moment, I enjoyed the game.
However, I remember how my parents continuously told me that games like that often hinder my learning. They also said that they might be a detriment to my studies. Also, I felt aware that if I try to ask them to buy me a PlayStation, they won’t let me. Because of how expensive it is. That’s why I just let it go and proceeded with the other hobbies that I have.
Then, we installed a personal computer in our house.
We all loved that computer. Almost every member of our extended family used it. I remember how each one of us took turns using it to either surf the internet or just do random things. However, playing games became the highlight of it all. Each member of our family had an account in the game Zuma. Then, we tried to beat each others’ scores. I love how we shared the love for the game and even let us bond to the max. Plants vs. Zombies became the hit that set off as the next big thing. I remember my friends in school talk about how they surpassed the toughest levels. Of course, I felt intrigued. Because of that, it became the next “competition” that my family and I enjoyed. We also created our own accounts. Then, we tried to see who could reach the highest level the fastest.
Oh, the good old days. I can still vividly remember how happy I felt bonding with them.
Not long after these cool (well, at the time), interesting, and popular games, my cousins and I discovered this website called Y8. It is a site that has a variety of games, ranging from puzzles to arcades. On the site, it said that they have over 30 million players. It remained unsurprising considering they have enjoyable and diverse games. I remember my cousins and I play dress-up on it. I felt so addicted to playing games that involve Scooby-Doo, Sponge Bob, and Avatar: The Last Air Bender.
The Dawn of the Age of Mobile Gaming
Of course, after computer gaming, it didn’t take long before mobile gaming started to appear here and there. This comes as companies release newer phone models. The newer phone models remained faster, more efficient, and more affordable. Then, touch screens happened. It definitely became a game changer! Gone were the days that phone games only involved the use of keypads and small screens. They used to feel boring. When touch screen phones emerged, games on the new and interesting device became very popular.
These games include Temple Run, Subway Surfers, Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Flappy Bird, just to name a few. They became a hit to kids, teenagers, and adults alike. They swiped, scrolled, slid their fingers on the glass screens to their hearts’ content. Kids at school started pulling out their new devices and played with them with their peers. These games became the newest craze of our generation.
Of course, as time passed by, games also evolved.
After those that had simple mechanics and instructions, there came ones that involved more keys, functions, skills, and especially, the internet. They are called online games. As its name suggests, need the internet to be operated. Usually, they become interactive which allows you and your friends to play together. I joined at this particular point in time.
So, the story began when my sisters and I felt bored in our house. The pandemic began a few months ago, and we had nothing to do. We had almost watched all of the movies and TV series on Netflix that we became interested in. So, since one of my sisters had already started playing this MOBA game on her phone, my other sister and I tried it.
It is called Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
That’s the time when I can truly say that I became addicted to a game. We couldn’t go through a day without playing a game or two. Then the next following weeks, it became thrice a day, four, or five. It became a good thing that school didn’t start yet because it took so much of our time. But knowing my siblings and me, we wouldn’t let them get in the way of our studies. Until now, actually, my boyfriend and I still play it. We are fond of it, and I don’t think we’ll be over it any time soon.
Besides Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, I also like to play other games on the side. I use Plays.org to enjoy myself whenever I am fed up with my teammates on Mobile Legends. On this site, there are a variety of games to choose from. It is like the one I previously mentioned, Y8, wherein I can choose from different games depending on my mood. I enjoy jumping from one game to another.
They also have various categories where I can select one if I want to.
I personally like Player Favorites because this is where I can see the games that most of the players like and enjoy. I love a good suggestion from other people. LMAO! I also prefer their Simulation Games because I like controlling other people and things. Well, of course, only in games. Because in here, I can create a world.
My personal favorites on the site are, just to suggest a few, The Sorcerer—which is inspired by Zuma, the game I mentioned before that my family and I liked to play—Hero Rescue, Tap Supermarket, Flight Sim, and Fight Virus (sounds familiar, huh?).
Benefits of gaming
According to internetmatters.org, studies have shown that certain games can help younger children improve their early reading skills with the support of parents and teachers. Games used in primary schools and pre-school can be great tools to help children learn in a more engaging way. Also, with the growth of connected toys, children can experience physical play while playing on devices.
They also said that games that are immersive and require strategy and problem-solving skills to win, require players to remember and take in a lot of information. Regularly playing these types of games can help improve children’s short and long-term memory and help the brain process information quicker. Games capture players’ imagination helping them to stay focused on certain tasks and builds their perseverance to achieve a goal.
In their article, they also stated that games improve multi-tasking skills, build other abilities for future careers, and offer a new way to understand culture and perspectives. And not only that, but it can also provide social and physical benefits. They promote teamwork and builds confidence, provide a fun way to stay active, helps develop compassion, provide a safe context to talk about fears, and so much more.
In conclusion to all of this, games provide a sense of not only enjoyment in these trying times, but also comfort. It is a good thing that they can also provide other benefits like the things mentioned above. But what’s important is that they entertain us. This pandemic has been really rough. Small things like this can distract us from further stress and anxiety. These games are a way to escape reality and, for just a moment, take us to a place where we can be happy and forget about the problems.
We’ve been in lockdown for a year now, but let us still fight… like the heroes and the characters in the games that we play. Because believe it or not, we’re as strong as them and this is just but another level that we need to surpass.
Rapha is a person born between the generations of Millenial and Gen Z. He was produced by Cavite State University (Main Campus) with a bachelor's degree in Political Science. The lad has a fresh take on things, but can still stay true to his roots. He writes anything in Pop Culture as long as it suits his taste (if it doesn't, it's for work). He loves to wander around the cosmos and comes back with a story to publish.