The residence of Italy was hit hard by the news that the country would be initializing a full lockdown in hopes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 otherwise known as coronavirus. With theatres, sporting events, schools, and malls either closed or open with limited capacities, many have taken to online gaming to fill in their spare time.
Italy’s telecommunication companies have seen a dramatic spike since the lockdown was initiated. Bloomberg spoke to Telecom Italia Chief Executive Officer Luigi Gubitosi on a conference call, who said: “We reported an increase of more than 70% of Internet traffic over our landline network, with a big contribution from online gaming such as Fortnite.”
Seeing as though Fortnite Battle Royale mode is free to play on virtually every device, it is only natural that those stuck inside would find solace in a game so intrinsically tied to online communications. Social Distancing has become a term widely used during the break of coronavirus. Playing an online game with friends, or even strangers could have players interacting and keeping social graces, even in an unfortunate time.
Activision recently released its own new Call of Duty Battle Royale mode this week. Call of Duty: Warzone, another free-to-play title amassed over 6 million players within the first 24 hours. In a tweet from the Call of Duty Twitter account, they thank the players before stating “We’re just getting started.”
What a day! 24 hours in and over 6 million of you have dropped into #Warzone.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) March 11, 2020
A score of people online has been counting down the days until Nintendo releases Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Switch. With a cute aesthetic and wholesome gameplay, Animal Crossing could lighten things up during this worrisome time. IGN‘s Justin Davis put it best:
Please flip the switch and release Animal Crossing now.
The world needs it!
— Justin Davis (@ErrorJustin) March 12, 2020
Video games can be a comforting outlet, especially during a tumultuous time. With doom and gloom all over the news, and social events and festivals being delayed, gaming can be a powerful outlet.