With so many people stuck in their homes, video game sales and downloads are spiking at record rates.
Verizon has reported a 75% increase in gaming since much of the world turned to social distancing.
One game in particular, Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” is giving people back some control.
So while many of us are stuck inside, the games’ characters are free to roam wherever, free to travel, free to be around others and free of the coronavirus.
It’s the sense of normalcy the people controlling them crave as the real world shuts down to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s just a lot of fun and a lot of stress is relieved from it,” said Mike.
“It’s been really kind of great to get that escape from kind of everything that’s going on and have a life on my own island, so to speak,” explained Emmalisa Kaminski.
The Nintendo Switch game lets players create their own islands and spend time with friends.
Kaminski says it’s allowed her to be social while staying home and staying safe and almost break from the cabin fever.
“So it’s definitely helped me pass the time,” she said. “It’s helped me ease some of the stress I may have been feeling because of what is going on.”
She got the game immediately when it was released last week and has been playing non-stop.
The game sold more copies on its opening weekend than any other game on the Nintendo Switch, so clearly, she’s not alone.
“Instead of sitting at home stressing about confirmed cases or, like, if my friends are okay or what’s going to happen with my job, I was planting orchards in my town,” she said.
It’s a temporary escape from a world grappling with COVID-19.