Let’s Talk About: Gaming

Introduction

Video games have been around since 1958, and as the years go by with improved technology, playing video games has become a very popular hobby or leisure activity amongst everybody, no matter the age or generation. As of October 2020, there have been 3.07 billion active video gamers worldwide on many different platforms such as computers, consoles, mobile phones, TVs and others. 

Impacts of Gaming within Gen Z

There are many speculations on whether gaming is more harmful than helpful and vice versa. The American Psychologist Association (APA) notes that while there are many research studies conducted on the negative aspects of gaming such as addiction, aggression and depression, they are not ignoring that there are positive effects on gaming as well. There should be a balance in the research finding the true impact of gaming towards people today.

According to the APA’s review, games (particularly first-person shooter games) strengthen cognitive skills like “spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception”. The APA has also acknowledged that playing video games, particularly role-playing games, allows adolescents to improve their problem-solving skills and enhance their level of creativity. Other findings that the APA had reviewed also showed that playing video games in general improves a player’s mood and gives a sense of relaxation, suggesting an emotional benefit to the player. 

The AIA Group had also published that video games are a great source of learning. There has been an incorporation of video games as a teaching mechanism in schools as previously mentioned. Furthermore, multiplayer video games improve cooperation skills, as these sort of games require teamwork and good communication skills to achieve a common objective. 

Gaming and COVID-19

The gaming industry has been resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have turned to playing video games as a way to spend time while they are stuck at home. Because of this, old games have once again risen up to popularity and more new games have been developed and published for the public. As of November 2020, some of the most popular video games have been Among Us, Pokemon GO!, Minecraft, League of Legends, Valorant, Hearthstone and more. 

UC Berkley held a graduation ceremony through Minecraft

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had also encouraged people to turn to online gaming as a way to promote physical distancing while socially connecting with others. The WHO had done this by collaborating with many gaming companies to start a promotional campaign, following the hashtag of #PlayApartTogether. This allowed partnered gaming companies to launch exclusives, special events, rewards and activities to their games with self-protection messages, motivating players that “wherever you are, whatever game you play, you can make a difference”.

Recommended Games

Here are some games that are recommended for you (and your friends) to play whenever and wherever! We understand that this is just a short list of thousands of games, please feel free to comment below what games you recommended and/or love playing!

  • Terraria

Available on PC (Steam), Android, iOS, XBLA and Nintendo Switch.

Developed by Re-Logic, Terraria is an action-adventure, pixel role-playing game (RPG) which allows you to build your own city and explore the world that you live in. You get to mine elements to build architectural structures, battle evil monsters for glory and more! The world is your canvas, you can do absolutely anything with it. Additionally, there is a multiplayer option for you to play with your friends. Why wouldn’t you want to explore worlds with the people you love?

https://terraria.org/

  • Stardew Valley

Available on PC (Steam), Android, iOS, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Similarly to Terraria, Stardew Valley is an indie, open-ended country-life, pixel RPG developed by ConcernedApe. You start off the game by inheriting your pixel grandpa’s farmland and learn to run it and survive in the world. You may take on story quests and discover more of what Stardew Valley has to offer, help the local community to restore glory to the community centre, or join forces with Joja Corporation to ruin everyone’s life. Stardew Valley is also a multiplayer game; the more friends, the merrier!

https://store.steampowered.com/app/413150/Stardew_Valley/

  • Untitled Goose Game

Available on PC (Steam, Itch, Epic), Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.

Untitled Goose Game was developed by House House, which is a puzzle stealth video game. It’s simple. The village is a peaceful place, and you are just an awful goose. The objective of this game is to complete your tasks of bothering people living in the village by using your goose abilities (you can even honk)! Isn’t that fun? You can play this game as a single player or with one other person to finish the list of tasks. This game brings joy and laughter, a perfect escapism from all things stressing you out.

https://goose.game/

  • Mini Metro

Available on PC (Steam, Origin), Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch and PS4.

Mini Metro is a simple, minimalist, endless puzzle game based on strategy, developed by Dinosaur Polo Club. As an engineer, you are to design a subway map based on the city you are playing in, however, you only get resources for your tracks every fictional Sunday. With your limited resources, how long can you keep your stations from overcrowding?

https://dinopoloclub.com/games/mini-metro/

  • Genshin Impact

Available on PC (Windows), Android, iOS and PS4.

Genshin Impact, also known as Genshin, is currently the international hype in the gaming world! The game was developed by miHoYo and Shanghai Miha Touring Film Technology Co., Ltd. Genshin is a story-based, action-adventure fantasy RPG where you travel the world to reunite with your long-lost sibling and discover the beautiful world of Teyvat. Through your adventure, you get to battle monsters by solving puzzles and mastering all seven elements of the world. Genshin is also a multiplayer game where you can cross-play between the mentioned platforms. If you love adventures and stories, this game is just for you!

https://genshin.mihoyo.com/en/home

  • The Elder Scrolls

Available on PC (Steam, Windows OS), PS4 and Xbox One.

The Elder Scrolls series have been developed by a number of developers, the current main one being Bethesda Game Studios. The series consists of ten games, including a card game called ‘The Elder Scrolls: Legends’; the most frequently played ones in the modern day being Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls: Online (ESO). The Elder Scrolls series is an action-adventure RPG with stories including politics, war and dragons! The world in Elder Scrolls is in a setting similar to the real life pre-medieval stage where it is ancient with no technology, surrounded by magic and fantasy creatures like fairies, orcs and elves. Players usually take on quests to find out more about the world in Elder Scrolls and its stories and mysteries. Players can even build and furnish their own house(s), get pets and mounts and meet other players to slay dragons! What a world to live in.

https://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-us/discover

  • Destiny 2

Available on PC (Steam). PS4 & 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Developed by Bungie, Destiny 2 or Destiny 2: New Light is a massive multiplayer online (MMO), first-person shooter (FPS) game. The story of Destiny 2 follows the player as a defender of the last safe city on planet Earth to protect humanity from villains. Destiny 2 is being constantly updated depending on seasons, so that you get to experience the world of Destiny 2 in different settings. Through every different season, players are also able to earn new items and play in many different activities. You may play alone or even with friends!

https://www.bungie.net/7/en/Destiny/NewLight

  • Apex Legends

Available on PC (Steam, Origin), PS4 & 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. Soon to be on Nintendo Switch.

Apex Legends was developed by Respawn Entertainment. It is an action-adventure, battle royale, team FPS game. Players are able to pick their desired characters with specific sets of skills, join forces with other players and compete in the Apex Games for fame, money and glory. There is a little storyline to Apex Legends, you may read the lore on their official website, other sites and videos. Apex Legends also updates its seasons, currently in Season 7: Ascension, where a new map, hero and vehicle have been released. Apex Legends has also recently introduced Clubs, where you are able to meet the players of the Apex Legends community and make new friends!

https://www.ea.com/games/apex-legends/about

  • Hearthstone

Available on PC (Battle.net), Android and iOS.

If you’re not into action-packed, slightly gore video games but adore amazing graphics and strategic playing, Hearthstone is for you. Developed by Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone is an online strategic card game based on Warcraft’s lore and characters. The gameplay is like the action game itself, just with cards! This card game is based on skill, but it is very easy to learn to compete with others! Players are to collect cards and build your decks to play against others to win. You can play with online players or even with friends.

https://playhearthstone.com/en-gb

  • GWENT: The Witcher Card Game

Available on PC (Steam), Android and iOS.

Similar to Hearthstone, GWENT is also an online strategic card game based on The Witcher game series with its lore and characters. The game was developed by CD PROJEKT RED. Players collect cards and build their own decks, form strategies to compete against other players. This is also a game of skill, but once you got the hang of it, it’s really fun to play!

https://www.playgwent.com/en


Sources

  1. https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200810/physicshistory.cfm#:~:text=In%20October%201958%2C%20Physicist%20William,Brookhaven%20National%20Laboratory%20open%20house
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/arts/gaming-introduction-basics-quarantine-coronavirus.html 
  3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/748044/number-video-gamers-world/ 
  4. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/04/gaming 
  5. https://www.aia.com.kh/en/what-matters/health-wellness/is-gaming-more-beneficial-or-harmful.html 
  6. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/21/technology/personaltech/coronavirus-video-game-production.html?auth=login-google
  7. https://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2020/12/new-report-delves-into-niche-carved-out.html 
  8. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/who-video-games-coronavirus-pandemic-mental-health-disorder-2020-4?r=US&IR=T 
  9. https://newzoo.com/insights/rankings/top-20-core-pc-games/ 
  10. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200410005047/en/Games-Industry-Unites-to-Promote-World-Health-Organization-Messages-Against-COVID-19-Launch-PlayApartTogether-Campaign 

Emily

Emily Yeap is a Malaysian currently studying law at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Aside from politics, she has a passion to build, strengthen and empower communities before changing the world! When she isn’t very busy with law and activism, she tries to reach the diamond league in Overwatch.

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