For many of us, playing video games is a much-needed break from all the trials and responsibilities of everyday life. When COVID-19 forced the globe into quarantine, gamers shared how playing games like Animal Crossing was an important part of both having fun and maintaining mental health while in isolation.
Despite elements of randomness that are pervasive in many games, video games often feel like a level playing field. Unlike life away from our controllers, the rules of video games are explained, the parameters and limitations made clear. Whether it is Mario jumping over pipes or fighting a boss in Final Fantasy, the avatar is an extension of you. Getting your Pokémon to Level 99 is a reflection of the time and effort (and money) you invest in the game. Though scholars like Christopher Paul warn us about the toxicity that can arise from seeing video games as pure meritocracies, it isn’t inherently wrong to see video games as one of the few places where (to the greatest extent possible) you get out exactly what you put in. Everything that happens is a function of your input, no matter what demographic you come from.
Lately, I’ve been playing games like FIFA, Smash Bros., and River City Girls with my girlfriend. Spending time with her while doing something we both enjoy has been a silver lining in the pandemic quarantine, but there aren’t enough Switch games in the world to drown out all news stories and videos of unarmed black suspects and bystanders being killed in just about every context imaginable.
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Source: Game Spot Mashup