Escape From Reality

Why video games are the perfect escape during quarantine


Final Fantasy 7 remake

Sometimes when you play a video game, there’s no sense of reality. You can become so enthralled by a world, story, anything that hours can go by in what seems like minutes. Video games have become such a large part of people’s lives and personalities that it’s really hard for some people to stop because they are able to find a way to not be tied down by the shackles of laws and government in the real world. In the internet age, you can be whoever and whatever you want. 


Video games are constantly heralded by older generations for distracting the youth and preventing them from having a “real life.” In reality, this is the evolution of their idea of playing with friends. Instead of organizing a day in which you go to a friends house and play outside or play games, all you have to do is simply see if they’re online and play with them when you see fit. Now that playing outside is practically impossible and dangerous for the time being, it’s hard to imagine not playing games with friends. 


Before quarantine people really just saw video games as an escape from life, a world where you can be someone else, whether it be a story based game like the Uncharted series, or an online game where you can truly be whatever you want like Grand Theft Auto online. Now, it’s easier than ever to get into a video game that requires a lot of attention. 


When you play a game, you can escape from reality if you so well please, since many of the worlds in games such as the Final Fantasy saga, The Legend of Zelda series, The Elder Scrolls, or The Witcher are completely based in fantasy, and yet it’s so simple to become familiar with the world, slowly learning where every nook and cranny, every town, every tiny detail is.

Screenshot of “Legend of Zelda game: Breath of the Wild”

It’s extremely easy to become part of a world, especially with the thrilling supporting characters you can encounter that make you feel welcome. Other games like the extremely popular Animal Crossing series, are based on how YOU create your world; you live your life how you want, how you want the town you are forced to run, develop, and form relationships with the friendly animals who live near you. 

Screenshot of Animal Crossing New Horizons

The appeal of a good video game isn’t when it’s grounded in realism and looks like it could be a real game, it’s when it breaks from the pack and creates something truly special that anyone can relate to. In an open world game especially, it’s all about forging your own destiny in that world. Realism is good when it works, but there’s nothing special about a game that’s grounded in reality and simulates real life. It’s less interesting to explore a programmed version of 1700s Paris than it is to explore a fantasy kingdom with monsters and dungeons that you can discover all on your own. 


Whether you play with friends, solo, or however you play a game it can become a second life of sorts; making it an essential part of your character in real life, and even helping you express your true self. 


A sense of achievement and purpose is what makes a video game special. Being able to insert yourself into the scenarios and world of whatever game you’re playing is one of the greatest forms of escapism I’ve ever witnessed. 


Could it possibly be harmful? Yes of course, just like any other consumable form of media it is possible to become addicted, but right now when you have nothing else to do it is the perfect time to pick up a game and play to your heart’s content!