The pandemic has changed the way we interact with each other, and it has also changed the way we play video games. Electronic Arts, a leading publisher of games for PCs, consoles and mobile devices, has seen an increase in online video game exploration. Daniel Luu, founder of Nookazon and a software developer and active gamer based in Washington, DC, says that the pandemic has opened people's eyes to what games can do to bring people together. In 2003, a study was published that showed that a quarter of the 11,000 players in the online role-playing game Everquest said that their favorite part of the game was connecting with other players.
Ten percent of those surveyed even ended up forming romantic relationships outside of the game. Animal Crossing, released in March, has been particularly successful in providing a relaxed escape and a sense of security during these turbulent times. This game has attracted new players to the fans, including LGBTQ players and players who have served in the military. Some people have celebrated their birthday parties through Animal Crossing this year, others are dating, and some couples who canceled their weddings because of Covid-19 even got married in the game.
Poki has the best selection of free online games and offers the most fun experience to play alone or with friends. As a lifelong video game enthusiast, I was hesitant to try out online gaming but my friends assured me that I would be able to sit on a couch in front of a television for an endless period of time. Online video games have helped old and new players alike to “stay connected, social and sane during the pandemic” says Luu. The 50-year-old woman who “has never played video games in her entire life” is one of the best sellers on Nookazon's site.
Video game enthusiasts have been using technologies like this to build online friendships and stay connected for years. With the help of online video games, people can stay connected while still social distancing.