Happy Monday, everyone!
Despite how low-key this past Easter weekend has been compared to previous years, it was still a nice couple of days. We mainly relaxed with our immediate family, had some good food courtesy of Mom baking up a storm, and played video games to escape from the outside world.
Aside from the sheer fun factor and trying to increase your skillset and reflexes, many people play video games to escape from reality. Due to the current state of the world, there is no better time to become a gamer. Indeed, I’m pleased with still seeing all of the Animal Crossing New Horizons tweets that grace Double Jump’s Twitter feed rather than the current news.
While I did download and start playing New Horizons this past weekend to see if I would enjoy it more than the previous versions of the game — because, honestly, Animal Crossing is more of Rachel’s franchise while I was always into Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley — I did start thinking about what other kinds of games I tended to reach for whenever I needed a break from the world. There are different kinds of “escapists” out there when it comes to gaming, after all. What kind are you?
When the world is going to Hell in a hand basket, sometimes you need a good game where you are the one saving the world. Playing the role of hero helps you to feel like you’re saving something, even if the effect is more so on your psyche rather than the real world. Strategy and adventure games like the Fire Emblem and Legend of Zelda series have the Good Guys versus Bad Guys — even if some of them are a little blurred around the edges — theme that allow you to become the hero of someone’s world.
Playing the role of God and creating your own world, forging relationships, perhaps even modifying the physical land as you see fit is probably the most popular kind of escapist games out there. The popularity of simulation games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley are testament to that. You can create your own goals and ensure that your world will be happy and successful. Having delightful virtual neighbors is a bonus, but it’s even better when you have an online multiplayer mode so your friends and you can create together.
On the flipside, perhaps you just want to vent in a safe environment. Shooter and war games like DOOM Eternal and Fortnite — even if they have entirely different aesthetics — gives players who want to taste a little destruction a place where they can do so. Rage in virtual worlds to help ease your mind and soul when they get too focused on the real world.
Puzzle games are fantastic for zoning out of the real world and zoning in on immediate problems. The Professor Layton series and games like Tetris 99 give you something to focus on in the moment and, when you complete a difficult puzzle or knock out that last rival, gives your brain some of that sweet dopamine. When you start to feel impatient with the real world news around you, try your patience at a puzzle game.
Of course, these are just my thoughts and made-up definitions. Still, it was interesting to think about. Personally, I tend to lean towards games that allow me to be the hero, what with me returning to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, while also having spent plenty of time with simulation games like Stardew Valley and giving New Horizons a try.