By Germán Beneditto (*)
In times of quarantine, one of the industries that has most stood out for its direct link with the ability to provide entertainment and leisure from the comfort of home, has undoubtedly been that of video games. Gamers of all kinds have welcomed this forced situation with great pleasure, giving free rein to marathons. The consumption of video games has increased enormously also because many companies are offering titles in these months with great discounts and even free, like for example. Total War Shogun 2 for the Steam platform, the cult game Journey along with the Uncharted trilogy for Playstation 4, and recently the already famous GTA V for PC as a flourish, to name a few. For its part, Ubisoft enabled its most recent educational proposals for the acclaimed Assassin´s Creed saga, the Discovery Tours of Ancient Greece and Egypt, to learn their stories, and the video game Rabbids Coding !, where the little ones can learn to program in a more playful and fun way.
Certainly, video games can contribute to the measures adopted by the government to maintain social distancing, have fun at home and spend time without going outside except for basic food needs. They can also contribute positively to lower anxiety levels, avoid being aware of the news about the pandemic all the time in the minute to minute, and socialize with friends playing online in cases where video games allow it.
The key is to be able to carry out this increase in the consumption of videogames with moderation and responsibility, without falling into excesses such as spending whole nights playing non-stop, eating at the wrong time, avoiding social ties within the home and relegating other entertainment and recreation activities, no less valuable. Another very easy temptation results from the fact of downloading many video games, for free every time they release one, or as a payment because they are on sale, easily falling into overuse and economic expense.
In the case of parents who have to telework, it is an excellent opportunity for them to learn a little more about the world of video games, what their children are playing and what attracts them so much about them, in addition to being able to check that the content they are exposed to is appropriate for their age, and why not, share with them the experience playing alongside them.
From the Fundación Argentina de Videojuegos (FUNDAV), we work with great effort in the Health line on the responsible and healthy use of video games, guiding and answering queries on the subject, and recommending Argentine video games classified according to their content, to provide greater clarity.
Video games can become an excellent recreational means to combat the levels of anxiety, anguish and stress that have been enormously triggered by COVID-19, establishing adequate limits of use and consumption, to be able to better cope with this unprecedented situation. . Likewise, having them as allies instead of distractors of our real life, limited and shocked, but that continues to push to break through and leave our homes, with all the force of the life drive, above our screens.
(*) Psychologist specializing in the healthy use of technology and video games. Member of the Health line of the Fundación Argentina de Videojuegos (FUNDAV).