Keying in on germs

Opinion columnist Savannah Glaves suggests students pick up simulation video games while passing time in quarantine. 


It’s one of the worst possible outcomes. You’re stuck in your home for weeks on end with nothing to do. You’ve gone through your entire watch list on Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, etc. You have taken up all the possible hobbies you wanted to do when you actually had free time. You’ve either finished all your homework for your online class or you’re procrastinating until the last minute. Now, you’re probably scrolling through the internet trying to find something — anything — to do. If only you could go outside and experience the outside world again ... but wait, you can.

Simulation games let you experience the real world from the comfort of your own home. These games normally have no set objective, leaving you free to do what you want. There’s a variety of different types of simulation games ranging from social, to sports, to strategy and so on. There are even dating simulations if that’s your thing. Using simulation games, the world is free for you to roam. 

Sims is a very common social simulation game among students. Maybe you’re an architecture major and like building houses and buildings, this game allows you to do just that. You can create characters and have them interact with one another. You can create a character to represent yourself and interact with other characters, whether it be a family member or a crush or a completely random stranger. 

Similar to Sims, a new Animal Crossing game just came out on Nintendo Switch. You can build your own town from the bottom up and interact with the animal villagers in the town. You can also participate in some outdoor activities you can’t do right now, such as fishing or planting flowers. Social simulation games allow you to interact with others from a safe distance. 

For those who are mourning the cancellation of sports games, there are simulation games like NBA 2K20. March Madness was canceled and the NBA’s season was suspended, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy basketball. Not many people like rewatching games when you already know the outcome. Instead, you can customize players and teams for your own enjoyment. You can also experience the story of your custom-made basketball player. It is possible to enjoy basketball while everything is canceled in real life and nobody is getting sick while doing so. There are sports simulation games for many different types of sports so there’s probably one out there for you.

If none of these games interest you, there are also some popular strategy simulation games. Although it might hit a little too close to home right now, Plague Inc. is an extremely popular strategy simulation game. Unlike other simulation games, this game has a set objective. You need to create a disease and kill off the entire planet. You have to consider many different factors as you choose where the disease will start and which mutations the disease will have. Strategy simulation games make you think and stretch your brain while also having fun.

These games usually range from about $10 to $70. However, there are phone versions of some games that are cheaper or even free. Albeit, you do lose some functions.

The Guardian has a list of simulation games and reviews of games that you might be interested in playing if none of the ones above tripped your trigger. These games can provide you with a chance to get away from the inside world, your own home, and can help with destressing from online classes. If you’re craving something new to do over these next few weeks, give simulation games a try.

Savannah Glaves is a sophomore from Easton studying East Asian languages and cultures.