Outside the window of my room, the streets are empty and quiet, the world is strange and the future is uncertain. So, video games are the only source to relieve stress.
My news feed is full of conspiracy theories, and everyone is making expert comments on the global epidemic. But at the moment I have no problem with this situation because I don’t care.
Recently a new game ‘Every Thing’ has been released. While playing this game I sometimes click on a ‘thought bubble’ and in response, counter-culture philosopher, Alan Watts tells me something.
Sometimes I don’t care at all and like to be a solar system or a living being as a cell.
Escape from lockdown
I have never been so keen on playing video games in my life but for the last few weeks ‘Every Thing’ and another similar game ‘Mountain’ has been everything to me.
These games are emotional, calm, deep, beautiful, and silly with weird but satisfying sounds. These games have calmed me down and helped me forget the madness of online life and lockdown.
When “Every Thing” hit the market, it divided the gamer community. Some gamers praised it while others called it nonsense.
For someone like me, the importance of this game was a great way to escape from the pressures of work, the hustle and bustle of life and boredom.
I gave this game to my nephew and niece. He is very quick in doing and learning these things and he tells me, “This (game) is to relax before going to bed because you don’t get excited while playing it.”
When video game programmer Barry Code wrote a new manifesto for his new game company, Throw Love, she probably didn’t know how much a single line of this manifesto would better describe our lives today.
That line is, “We look at our phones with horror, we’re all shocked.”
She founded her gaming company in Toronto with the idea that she would develop something that would be an antidote to the current gaming culture, the culture that has dominated the gaming industry for the last 50 years.
“White gamers dominating the game industry have created experiences that relate only to them and not to most others,” she says.
Throw Lowe’s first game came to market in 2018, a phone app called ‘Self Care’. In this game, the players would sit on their beds and perform several actions aimed at reducing stress. But the game soon disappeared.
There is no ‘monster’ to kill
In this game, you don’t have to kill any monsters but you have to complete some calming tasks.
“We designed an app that was a quiet place on your phone that allows you to escape from inside your phone,” says Evo Thomas of Throw Lowe.
“Social media, gambling, and games are all based on a similar design that gradually increases tension to trigger a stress response.”
Video games are big business. According to the Entertainment Retailers Association, the value of the UK games industry in 2019 exceeded the combined value of the film and music industries.
When the lockdown was implemented in different countries of the world in March this year, the gaming platform ‘Stream’ reported that the largest number of game players logged on at one time. But when life is a battle or a nightmare of flying, aren’t hit games everything?
Cody says there is pressure in many games and online activities.
“It’s a short-term strategy to continue to build games that promote this fear and to take advantage of that fear. Money is made by promoting the fear of the youth. It is a cowardly and boring choice. We don’t need to create artificial pressure to keep anyone busy. Love can create good experiences. ”
Beyond Fight and Flight
Cody spent the first eight years of his career working as a senior programmer in the mainstream gaming industry. Her last job was at Ubisoft, a French video game company with 16,000 employees worldwide.
She directed popular video games, including Assassin’s Creed, but then something happened that made hem think about gaming.
During games like Flight and Fight, your nervous system first releases hormones like adrenaline and then dopamine. The release of these hormones makes a person happy.
“The eyelids constrict, the heart beats faster, the airways widen and you feel happier. You feel alive, You feel powerful. But not everyone likes fighting and flying games. I don’t either. Not even my friends.”, she says.
Andromeda Entertainment is launching Sound Self in late April. The game has been under development for the past eight years. It covers emotions such as religious ceremonies, psychology, mantras, meditation, and drowsiness. It was developed by Robin Ernt, founder of Andromeda Entertainment.
According to him, this game called Sound Self will take the player on an esoteric (or inner) journey.
He says that games can lead a person to transcendence.
“To see how much fun it is, you should look at a child staring blankly at the screen,” he says. “It is usually like moving the state of mind in a world of selflessness to a place where one can feel everything that one can do.”
The industry has created similar games for like-minded people over the past half-century. But why is it to a target pressure of 90% of the games?
Although some games are exempt from fights, such games are not successful.
Some games create an imaginary world. In such games, players adapt to their creations. Examples of such games are “The Sims” and “Moneycraft”.
In the game Animal Crossing, an alone man appears as a player among the beautiful, saucer-eyed animals on an island. All you have to do is walk, catch fish, cut wood, find Easter eggs, and pick fruit.
In the latest update, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, came out at the end of March, when most of the world went into lockdown. And it quickly surpassed all five versions of the game, which started releasing in 2001
The New York Times calls it the “Corona Virus Time Game.”
Muhammad Usman Ahmad (UsmanSwift) has been reporting for News Angels for more than a year. He did his Intermediate from PGC Pir Mahal. His aim is to provide Latest News Straight from the News Industry.