To Be In Control

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

I apologize for no solo posts last week. This whole virus nonsense has been throwing many people — myself included — for a loop, particularly where my day job is concerned. Diving into video games has been my go-to coping method.

Video Games | Simulation | Gaming | Control | Escapism | Doublexjump.com

When Rachel and I decided to do a themed month of posts for March, the simulation genre was picked because it is genuinely one of our favorite genres of games, especially since we started Double Jump. Considering what state the world is in right now, it seems particularly fitting.

One of the reasons that people enjoy simulation games is the fact that you are in control. In the Sims, you micromanage everything about the little avatars’ existences, from who they fall in love with to when they’re allowed to use the restroom. Business simulation games — Game Dev Tycoon or Rollercoaster Tycoon, for example — allows you to create the business that you want. Sure, you may have to bow a bit to the customers, but once you gain enough money from your venture, you’re pretty immune to criticism.

Capitalism at its finest.

We see evidence of this need to be in control happening all around us right now because of a super virus that is sweeping across the globe. Store shelves that used to hold toilet paper are bare because people are panic-buying up the supplies and, honestly, it baffled me as to why toilet paper of all things was being snatched up. I’m starting to understand that, perhaps, it’s not because it’s toilet paper — it’s because this panic-buying gives people some semblance of control. Attempting to be prepared for a month’s isolation, or longer, is the only way that some people can feel like they’re in control of something, that they’re able to beat back this virus.

Escapism is also a reason as to why people play video games, particularly simulation games. I have poured more hours these past couple of weeks into Stardew Valley than I ever have since first getting the game. With the coronovirus in the air, daily life has been odd. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know what’s going on. Let me dive into a world that does not have super viruses and where I’m able to control the environment around me.

Last week (which is really weird to say, because while this virus has been a thing for the past couple of months, it has only hit my city and state within the past couple of weeks), my day job has had little containers of hand sanitizer on the counter for both ourselves and our customers, particularly since we handle cash on a daily basis. There have been too many people asking where we found the hand sanitizer because, “it’s like liquid gold!” and we’ve been fortunate that people take it to heart when I tell them that, “You can’t steal it, you need to share.”

Because, like buying 96 rolls of toilet paper and the entire meat section in the local supermarket, this is something that we can control. Help each other out. Share resources. Check in on your neighbors. Be conscious of both social distancing and if there is anything you can do to help and share compassion.

The world may be going to Hell in a hand-basket but we’re all here together on this ride. Let’s try to remember that.

Why do you play video games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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