The Socially Deprived and Isolated Take to Gaming

Andreas J. Pratama

 

The recent pandemic of the corona virus has caused many uneasiness and grievances throughout the world. With the virus spread has now reached a global pandemic status, declared by the WHO, people are now urged to remain indoors and stay in isolation in smaller groups of family or as a person. This results in social deprivation, the outdoors, and mental pre-occupation to pass this grim time.

The lockdowns imposed by countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Italy are no doubt putting a lot of stress on the economy but one that takes away from humanity the most is their capability to socialize directly. Human beings are social creatures undoubtedly, despite their extroversive / introversive social drives, each individual crave for socialization in one form or another.

GameStop a video games retail giant stated in a report that the company’s corporate decision makers have issued a memo that urge the stores to open. The corporate office has studied the situation and believing that video games, previously unthought of as a primary necessity in these times, has become one – and the company is smart enough to realize it. “essential retail and therefore [are] able to remain open during this time” – reported by Arstechnica.com (19 March 2020)

The company noticed the overwhelming surge in purchasing quantity both online and offline close to corona lockdowns. Video game stores have now shown a sign of cultural shift in which they refused to be positioned as fourth-fifth category of necessities in Maslow’s hierarchy, but then again, where do they really fit in? When the product is intangible and the experience is absorbed, traceless, to provide sense of security. Video games quickly become a replacement of social interaction; a pseudo interactive entity made to fill the void.

In other parts of the industry, data providers all over the world (Vodafone, Orange, and various ISPs) have now reported a major surge in mobile phone data traffic primarily due to the imposed lockdowns. The once socially active people are now scurrying towards online games where they can enjoy both fun and interaction at the same time. Should this be enough sign that internet connectivity and gaming are now becoming a huge part of our daily lives, even quickly rose up to be one of the basic essentials to the digital natives.