Gaming provides comfort amid Covid

Rodriguez sitting on his PC setup for gaming (PC – Raul Rodriguez)

As we hit the one-year mark of the pandemic, many of us have pursued different hobbies to help us relax during quarantine. One of the popular activities that people stuck at home took interest in was online multiplayer games like Among Us or Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

But how did playing games with other people help with our mental health? 

Photo Courtesy of Chris Diaz

Chris Diaz, who lives in Monterey Park, said that online gaming helped take his mind off news about the pandemic and his worries about his grandmother potentially catching it after she had a fall.

“Being locked up in your house, whether you are alone or not, takes a toll on you,” said Diaz, who attends UC Riverside. “The friends that surround you allowed me to have conversations that were not necessarily about the terrors of the world around us and helped let my guard down, relax, and enjoy my time at home.”

Socializing through video games gave me more time to spend with my friends, even outside of the pandemic,” he said. “Playing games was something that gave me a similar feeling as if I wasn’t home. That feeling was amplified when meeting and playing with friends.”

Photo Courtesy of Raul Rodriguez
Photo Courtesy of Raul Rodriguez

Raul Rodriguez, a student at UCLA who frequently spends time with cousins in Inglewood and Lennox, said his biggest challenge during the pandemic has been staying motivated for school but gaming has helped him get his work done.

“I would feel terrible playing if my work wasn’t done or I wasn’t being productive,” he said.

Playing also helps relieve stress for him, something needed even more during the pandemic.

He said that he socialized through video games before the pandemic “but I appreciate it a lot more now that I can’t really interact with friends in person.”

Plus, more of his friends are comfortable with online interactions now so his social life has become more busy and he feels more connected to them: “It feels like I speak more with my school friends now that we made a Discord and stream shows, study, or even play games.”