Is Gaming a Bad Idea During Times of Crisis?


In the months of March and April, a shelter in place order was conducted in the United States to keep from spreading the global pandemic the world was facing. Social distancing and isolation were suggested to assist in flattening the curve for the healthcare system. This meant that with the exception of the people in the home, everyone should stay six feet away from one another and limit the time they were outside of their home. 


During this time, people were uncertain of what they should be doing while they were isolated at home. The gaming industry became a huge asset to help many around the world to #playapartogether. Rather than have complete isolation, gaming was actually a recommendation to keep in touch with others. The point was to keep connected while not allowing the virus to continue to spread. 


Gaming for Socialization

With restless children at home due to school closures, parents started making allowances by loosening their video gaming rules to give the kids an opportunity to socialize online. Although gaming addiction is still a concern, in times of isolation, gaming can assure people they are not alone. The World Health Organization deemed gaming a disorder back in 2018 which means that parents and individuals would still need to keep an eye out for the signs of addiction, especially when easing off their rules. In order for healthy gaming to take place during this time, it would be imperative that schoolwork was still being completed, working from home was remaining adhered to, some physical activity was being conducted, and that proper hygiene was met. 


Gaming Disorder Concerns

Yes, the times have changed which means technology will continue to be used to connect with others. The need for guidelines and watching for red flags are as crucial as ever. If responsibilities are forsaken in lieu of gaming or if a person has no control by playing day in and day out, then addiction may be occurring rather than socially connecting. A gaming disorder will become recognized when a person stays on a game for long periods of time without sleeping, eating, showering, or practicing basic self-care.  


The gaming industry has tried to make isolation easier by connecting people worldwide in hopes of taking their mind off the chaos and suffering. However, general accountability still needs to be put into place, even in isolation. Parents and individuals need to keep an eye on what is happening with technology usage, especially with gaming. Taking ownership of productive activities to fill the void can assist with perseverance in times of crisis


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