Let me start by saying this is not a black and white issue.
I touch on a few different situations below, but generally speaking, your gut will let you know you’re going at it too hard. Listen to your gut.
All of us are facing the sobering realization that our schedules have changed significantly.
One way things are changing is that gamers are gaming more.
Valve Corporation, the owner of the video game distribution platform Steam, saw a record number of players on March 15. 20 million players online at one time.
That came a month after 19 million people were on the service at once. As of March 17, Steam had 19.75 million peak users.
For avid gamers who once held down a regular job outside of the home, video games could become a problem. There is a greater opportunity to shirk on responsibilities. Even with the expectation to work remotely, the temptation for some will be quite strong.
I have worked from a home office for the past six years. I feel fortunate that I have already cultivated a healthy relationship with gaming during the workday. Believe me, the temptation is still there.
When it’s time to focus on either your work Slack channel blowing up or all the shiny things in Assassins’ Creed Odyssey, where does one draw the line? How much gaming is appropriate during a pandemic?
If you are now performing your job remotely, stick to the schedule.
I know it’s tempting to take a long lunch break and do some gaming – believe me, it’s a slippery slope. When you give yourself permission to hop on here and there, your work responsibilities will suffer.
Stick to what would normally be a standard work schedule. Your boss or coworkers are counting on you to manage your time efficiently.
You Got Laid Off
That sucks. Hard. I’m sorry if this is the case for you.
Layoffs are skyrocketing as businesses close or scale back due to the Coronavirus. Hundreds of thousands of people are losing their jobs. The last thing jobless gamers should do is spiral into a video game void and hope for the best.
Video games are a great way to escape, but things have changed. One does not simply “RPG” their way out of unemployment.
Follow your state’s guidelines and file for benefits. Try to find something productive to do during the time you would normally be at work. More than ever, it’s important to focus most of your day on being productive.
You Have a Family
Family first. Always.
It would be grossly irresponsible for any gamer to ignore your family’s needs during this time.
Striking a balance is even more critical if you have children, a spouse or other family members counting on you. Read the room. Even if work is finished and the dishes are done, emotional needs may still need to be met.
Set a Schedule. Commit to addressing family matters and family time before indulging in video games. If other family members enjoy gaming too, great, set up some coop. In this time it’s vitally important that families come together and help each other.
Far be it for me to say I understand what someone else is going through during the Coronavirus pandemic. I’m not an expert at this and it’s just my opinion. Common-sense and a simple gut check should be your guide. The temptation to stay logged in longer than usual is tempting. What else am I going to do, right? There is plenty to do and letting it pile up isn’t going to make matters any better.
How are you coping with the Coronavirus? If you have any tips or stories you would like to share, please leave a comment. I’m listening.
Stay strong gamers and let’s lean on one another for support during these trying times. Game on – responsibly!