This period of self-isolation is a gamer’s wet-dream. With no pressure to produce work, seek sunlight, or engage in basic social interaction, hours can be spent in front of various screens. During this period, I have proudly joined the ranks of the many enjoying this new-found freedom to become a recluse without the judgement of society.
I am not a total stranger to video games; having grown up on the Nintendo DS lite, I am familiar with the ins and outs of Mario Kart and Nintendogs. Admittedly, I could even name all fire-types from 5th Generation Pokémon. However, this provided limited skills I could transfer onto my sisters Xbox.
To put it frankly, I am very bad. In order to get an idea of how God-awful I am, imagine a toddler without thumbs playing “Assassins Creed: Black Flag” for the first time; with zero control over the character, I kill the wrong people, and for some reason, run up walls at random points in game-play which infuriates me to the point I have to walk away from the controls.
Yet, I would still whole-heartedly recommend the Assassin’s Creed series for beginner gamers. The plot lines are more-than interesting (especially if you are a history buff), and playing the game itself is not hard to pick up on, I am just particularly rubbish. I still look forward to playing it each day and hints at improvement have been shown.
For those of you who want to play without the anxieties of impending death, Stardew Valley is your way into the gaming world. I have not experienced such a peaceful gaming experience since Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I have once again been able to experience going outside and farming my crops while being snubbed by the local villagers – truly fantastic.
This game is a must have for those who want a calm gaming experience, but unfortunately can’t afford a Nintendo Switch to purchase Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There’s no skill required for the controls, just enough dedication to build your farm while also solving the various mysteries within the game. Trust me, if you want to start gaming, this is the one for you.
Playing these games has not only killed time but has also provided a form of escapism; you get to experience the outside world by proxy through your character which, if you weren’t all that outdoorsy anyway, is the perfect substitute.
It has also given me something to focus my mind on. I can think about progressing through gameplay and building my farm to the highest possible standard (at time of writing ‘Julie Farm’ is way below average). Now, I can’t imagine getting through isolation without these games. So if you have the means to do so, I can’t recommend starting gaming enough.
Image provided by stardewvalley.net